May 2013, Sara Holland went to visit her father, Ronald Harayda, in Asheville, NC after hearing devastating news about his terrible stomach pains being diagnosed as colon cancer. After surgery to remove a large tumor and a little over a year of chemo, Ron continued to serve his community by volunteering and chairing the local chapter of the nonprofit, Veterans for Peace.
In August 2014 and what looked to be positive progress, Ron began having terrible stomach pains again which landed him in the hospital. The tumor grew back and his cancer was diagnosed stage 4 with 6 months left to live. Sara made arrangements to have Ron move to Charlotte to live with her so she could give him the care he needed. Not to long after the move, his condition worsened and he was given an optimistic 6 weeks of life.
Sara is a mother of 3, one of which has developmental delays and autism. She manages a small modest counseling practice that serves mostly individuals and families living in poverty. Caring for others come naturally for Sara. However, while caring for her father, days have turned into weeks and expenses have greatly increased while income diminishes. Hospice and the Veteran's Administration provides healthcare and medicines; however, there are many expenses that are not covered.
Because of Sara's dedication to caring for her father around the clock, she's only able to work a few hours per week and does not have the option for paid time off compounded by the loss of income due to Ron's inability to work, being able to fulfill his final wishes may not be a reality. This family has spent 2 life times giving and helping so many people, now is the time for people to give back.
My name is Michelle Kay and I'm a coworker of Sara's. Over the years we've become very close and it breaks my heart to see someone who gives and helps so freely suffer so deeply. Her father is a Vietnam Veteran and has always been a human rights activist. Caring for a dying parent is a life changing experience. Any donations given are greatly needed and truly appreciated. These donations are to help Sara during this tragic time and to help meet her father's final wishes. Below is one of Ron's pins that can sum up his spirit.
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