Some of you have met my mom, Gayle Bates. She is a brightener of days "“ with her friendly smile, colourful hair, cheerful demeanor, and sly wit. A loving daughter, mother, and grandmother; she spent nights and weekends of 2013 commuting up and down island, caring for and seeking to make safe her own mother "“ now thankfully settled into an advanced care facility.
Gayle teaches waste reduction to children and adults, in schools, community groups, and at special events. She is also a celebrated instructor of Worldhost Customer Service training programs and other customer service and communication workshops. As a contractor, she's been able to stay just ahead of the curve, always paying her bills on time. Though she saves carefully, house and family have kept her emergency fund on the ropes.
This has been a tense Christmas for other reasons. Medical tests on the 18th gave an incomplete picture; now the test results are back, and yes, it's breast cancer. Her surgeon advises that she won't be able to work during the treatments - for 9 to 12 months. As a single, self-employed person, she'll be without an income.
(Photo "“ Boomer Jerritt for In Focus magazine)
My mom has basic medical coverage, so the radiation and chemotherapy are accounted for "“ not so the mortgage, the bills, the gas, the groceries, health-bolstering supplements, and additional treatments to beat this thing. There isn't a plan for how to meet these costs "“ well, there wasn't, back when my mom wanted to stubbornly do everything on her own. Now, Gayle is reaching out to her community, to her students, peers, and mentors, her many friends, all those who join her in wishing to see the world a greener and more joyful place, and anyone she's ever brought a smile to the face of; reaching out and asking for help!
Your financial gifts will remove this burden, and with it the distraction from her real work: to thrive so gloriously that the cancer is defeated!
She's also hoping for recommendations of life-affirming articles, short stories, poems, and the like. "Instead of just paging through magazines," she told me, "I'd love to have a binder of inspiring things that some real person recommends for me to read. I think that would really get me into the right mindset, that there are people out there who care about me."
Gayle, a woman of faith, will be grateful for any prayers that you can offer for her.
You may recognize Gayle from her many years as MC for the Child Development Telethon and the Wearable Art fashion show. She's long been a member of the Community Art Gallery, and enjoyed a 6-year stint on the Board of Directors of the Sid Williams Theatre. She is a proud member of the Soroptimists club, an outspoken adherent to "buying local," and a producer and gifter of recycled art.
She intends to continue her role as a community citizen and volunteer into the foreseeable future.
Please help her continue to radically change lives for the better!
Much love and gratitude,
Jackson Tegu, Ashley Hoffart, and Gayle Bates.
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