Thought of a dozen different ways to start this story but all I could think of is…cancer sucks. PERIOD. And when we hear of a family member or friend facing the challenges of this horrible disease, we realize that in a blink of an eye, our whole world can be turned upside down. As I write this, I keep hearing the song lyric “We are family…” on replay in my mind. Odd as not very many of us are related in this industry but we all seem to share a common bond, a kinship, a comradery…a long line of friendships. So, when it became known that one of our “own” is caring for his wife as she is battling cancer, I knew it was time to call upon my pottery friends and family to lend support. Michael Harbridge’s wife was diagnosed with a rare, triple negative form of breast cancer this past spring. It’s a type of breast cancer that only about 20% of women are diagnosed with. The treatment is very aggressive and includes several months of chemo treatments, surgery, and recovery. Jeannine is just 45 and they have 2 teenage daughters. As you can imagine, their life has been turned upside down these last few months. Jeannine has just finished her first round of the most aggressive chemo treatment and will begin the next course soon. Of course, always the first worry these days is the financial impact cancer has on a family. The good news is Michael and his family have insurance. Friends and family in their community have sponsored bake sales, provided dinners, and gift certificates to make life just a little easier as well. But I keep thinking, what can we…the PYOP industry do for our friend? Michael has been in our industry and shared his expertise for years. He has shared his time as a Supplier, an instructor, a board member, and most importantly, a friend to everyone. And I am sure his wife and daughters will vouch for his “all around good guy” character as well! I have never personally met Jeannine, but her smile in her photos reveals a spirit that says it all!
So, I ask this of you all, would you please take a minute and make a donation in honor of our friend? I know that any donation, big or small would be greatly appreciated and totally not expected. My goal is to take the burden and worry off Michael and his family, so they can focus on getting Jeannine healthy! I know every bit will make all the difference in the world.