Tori's Medical Fund


Donation info & PHOENIX RISING gift details at bottom of page

Tori's story: 

"I must let myself be that person in the middle."

When our son, Espen, was a little boy, he used to sit across the table from me at mealtime and smile, and tell me he loved me. And he would tell me again and again, and then he'd tell me "The more I tell you I love you, the more I love you." I would always just melt. But the point is, he was right. The more we focus on the love and joy, the more we feel it. This is what I try to do everyday; feeling it in my heart.

Pancreatic cancer is a harsh teacher. Yet, I remain grateful for what it has taught me, the change-of-perspective-no-time-to-lose lessons I receive every day, even if I don't always have the patience or the awareness to recognize them.  One lesson I am reminded of daily is that all of us know this cancer story intimately.  And none of us go through it alone.

I am forever in awe of the caring people who surround me, who have lifted and continue to lift me up every day. Family. Friends. Clients. Medical professionals who are not only competent, but also compassionate. Strangers who have reached out to me. New life-friends who also walk this same difficult path and brighten our way.

At the very beginning of this new path in our lives, Neil promised to create a Sterling Silver PHOENIX RISING medallion for a fundraiser to help offset the staggering medical bills and lost income due to this disease. It is now ready. 
(See bottom of page.)

We wish that everyone could have a PHOENIX RISING as symbol of our connection.  There are many ways to say “I love you” over and over again. Wear it close to your heart. Keep it in your pocket as a good luck charm. Gift it to that special someone who is also struggling through difficult times.

Remember that trust-building exercise? The one in which a group of people form a tight circle around you? As the person in the middle, you close your eyes and fall blindly backwards, trusting that the people around you will catch you and lift you back up. You spin, eyes closed, and no matter what direction you fall, someone is there.

As cancer spins me around, one of the great lessons of this life experience is that I must let myself be that person in the middle. As a life-long head-strong woman, that is not easy for me. I remain grateful to the family, friends, clients, and caring professionals who are always there to catch me.

Love, joy, laughter,


From Neil:

Transitioning from craftsman to caregiver comes easy for me, even if it makes for hard times. It is the most important job I have ever done.

I am old school that way, always seeking compromise between working in the shop and spending time with my wife and children.  Compromise is no longer an option.  My engraving bench sits mostly dark and quiet by necessity. 

As a professional artisan whose discipline is an ancient craft, I never had the kind of income allowing me to retire. My plan was to never stop working, which is fine because I love my work. That’s become impossible for the time being, and now the bills are incomprehensible.

The last time I felt like this
I was in the wilderness
And the canyon was on fire
Emmylou Harris 

It's been noted that people are at their best when things are at their worst. Over the past 8 months I've had the pleasure to get to know many other husbands and wives and children and friends who have also been giving their special care for their loved ones. Every one of them is amazing. Our love is amazing. We are at our best, doing our best.


We would like you to select a PHOENIX RISING medallion as a Thank You for your generosity. The pendant-size medallion is approx. 1" (2.5 cm) long, and the larger medallion w/silver oval is approx. 1 1/8" (3 cm) long.

 4 Options - choose one:

- Smaller, pendant-size medallion no chain ($60)

- Larger medallion w/silver oval - has no hole ($65)

- Smaller, pendant-size medallion with 18" (46 cm) silver chain ($80)

- Larger medallion w/silver oval & silver key chain ($99)

Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Norsk: OBS! OBS!
Automatisk oversetting oversetter bare US $ (amerikanske dollar) til NOK uten å korrigere beløpet ifølge valuta kurs. Håper dette fungerer bedre på "gave sida". 


If you would like to OPT OUT of a gift by donating less than the lowest reward level or simply don't want a gift, please use the DONATE NOW link and enter your donation info. 

  If you would like a gift, simply click on your reward-level, (and if desired, increase donation amount), and enter your info.
3.  If you donate more than any of the reward levels, please comment which gift you would like, or comment 'no gift'.

We anticipate delivery will be 2-4 weeks.
  • Linda Lewis  
    • $80 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 53 mos
  • Carol Peterson 
    • $60 
    • 53 mos
  • PatWendy Burke 
    • $80 
    • 53 mos
  • Dana Barriger 
    • $99 
    • 53 mos
See all


Tori Heide 
Sedona, AZ