Sheryl’s cancer treatment and related expenses
Hi, my name is DeeDee Short. I am asking for your prayers and approximately $70,000.00 of financial help for my sister, Sheryl White, for an intense cancer treatment program and its related expenses. I love her very much and don’t want to lose her to this vicious disease, as we did our mother in 2010. In case you don’t know them, Sheryl and her husband, Greg, are both strong Christians, unpaid associate pastors at their congregation, on the elder board, and help out everywhere needed, such as in the sound booth, regularly teaching, and praying for others at all services and events. Additionally, Sheryl is the volunteer manager of the fundraising gift shop, which benefits the congregational building fund, and runs the lobby services. She is the first smile you will see when you enter the door and often the first hug you will receive.
She and Greg have spent all they have from his employment and their savings for the initial tests, scans, and port surgery, but they need help as soon as possible with the startup and life costs for the chemo, bone marrow shots, surgery, and radiation to follow. If you are interested in hearing a bit more about their adventure and a further explanation of the amounts, please feel free to read the following paragraphs in Sheryl’s own words. You can also check out the church and what they have been up to at www.myamc.org or on the Arrowhead Messianic Congregation channel on YouTube. Thank you so much for your prayers and assistance in getting the word out to as many prayer warriors as possible!
• your prayers
• approximately $70,000.00 of financial help for my sister, Sheryl White, for both intense cancer treatment and related expenses
On Aug 20, 2022, my husband, Greg, and I celebrated 13 years of marriage and 17 years together. It’s been a wild ride, and if you like a good story keep reading (or skip to the end * for the most important details). I won’t start you out from the very beginning, but about two-thirds in, at the most convenient time and place in my life to explain how I landed in Arizona to meet that amazing man and explain how we got where we are in life today. Here goes…
I have always loved the Lord and have been in ministry in one form or another for as long as I can remember so I was very excited to be accepted into a worldwide missionary training school in August of 2001 while I was in Tennessee during a special two year season of my journey. I did not have enough donations for both room and board so I made a plan to fly to California where some friends had just finished borrowing my small motor home and drive it back to where I could park it on the Youth With A Mission (aka YWAM, pronounced why-wham) property during my training. (BTW-my flight out was delayed and I stayed at the airport four days because as I arrived, they were in the process of closing it down due to the airstrikes on 9/11. Everyone there was glued to the TVs as it was happening that whole time. I did make it back just in time for the YWAM orientation, even after a two-day breakdown, because I am pretty sure the Lord pushed me and the RV through a small time hole, among other smaller miracles.) After I finished two courses and an amazing outreach, I decided to stay with the school and volunteer in their accounting department so I could assist with the new students and their adventures, as my new mission field.
The Lord had a different plan, however, and He sent me to Phoenix, Arizona in 2003 to take care of my grandmother full time because she had Parkinson’s disease. When she passed in 2005, I did not know anyone in the area. I heard that an organization called Equally Yoked was a place that held Christian events for singles and thought that would be a good place to make friends since I was not looking for a relationship because I hadn’t figured out exactly what my next step in life was going to be. I had only been to a couple of events when I met Greg at a movie night and afterward he asked if I was going to the Go Cart event the following weekend. I said “yes” and while we were there we hit it off, went to dinner at Red Lobster, and ended up talking most of the night at the Roadrunner Park nearby. (We did the latter two this year, as well)
Greg lived in a small Prescott cabin, about 100 miles away, so it was a two-hour drive home for him. He is a contract software engineer and was doing some on-site work in Phoenix at the time so we were able to hang out fairly often. We found a church to attend together and we also started talking about what we wanted in life. I wanted to do something in ministry, and he was also moving in that direction. Our strategy became to take the real estate investing (REI) education I had been receiving and use it to fund whatever ministry plan we decided. Greg was very excited about the REI so he used his good credit to purchase a house to flip while I used mine to fund the renovations. This started in early 2007 and by mid 2008 we had 16 properties we were working on, some singles, some groups, and some land. We did not understand enough about the market to realize it was going to burst, but that is, of course, what happened and we lost them all in our individual bankruptcies. We went to the courthouse the day before Christmas 2008, filed our paperwork, and sat down at a nearby McDonald’s to share a happy meal, rejoicing that we still had the Lord and each other.
We got married on 8/20/2009, four years after our first date, and worked at being good servants at our church, eventually earning our master’s degrees in theology and becoming associate pastors, while we recovered financially. In 2010 we discovered that our ministry goal was to have a place where God’s believers could come and be served and ministered to since they spend so much of their time and energy serving and ministering to others. We wanted to be able to invite any believer to our ministry retreat, but to allow leaders, their volunteers, and their families to come at cost so the respite would not be a burden on them or their congregations. Replenishment Ministries, Inc. was born as a non-profit and we began planning for its location and functionality. Later, in 2018, we even updated the cabin and put it on the market so we could have the money for the new place. Greg was still able to use the office there, but for the most part we began to use a four-bedroom rental property in Phoenix for my office, a second one for him, a place for a friend to stay while looking for his own new home, and a place for us to stay while we were needed more often at our church, which was near the rental. This made it much easier than the previous 2-hour commute, too.
In 2019 we decided that we were financially recovered enough to spend some of our savings to get the REI business up and running again so the retreat would be as self-funded as possible, with only a minimum of income required, and we still kept looking for the right place, one quadrant of Arizona at a time. I was in the process of updating my REI education when I met a wonderful couple who were the perfect team to help me get not one, but five REI related companies up and running. We had just launched one of them and were about to launch two more when Covid hit and changed everything again. I tried to hold on to them for a while but soon ran out of funds to pay them, so the Lord sent them to a wonderful new life and career in Texas.
In September of 2020, Greg and I were tired of being cooped up inside so we ventured out on one last property search, this time in the area closest to our cabin since we had been moving systematically from the outlying areas inward. The road we were on was drawn as a good road on Google, but when we were too far in to turn around we discovered that it was an unmaintained single-lane utility road that went over the top of a mountain and took two hours to traverse. During those two hours of jostling through the ruts and over the rocks, I held on to the handle above the door to keep me from falling onto Greg. In the end, I spent the next year recovering from the shoulder and elbow injuries. About two months after that was done, I got Covid, then again the following January. About that time I felt that it was time to try one more time at the REI since we had finally determined that the best location for the retreat was our own cabin after all. Our cabin is much too small, but I began to create drawings of a proposed expansion for both the house itself and an outbuilding to grow the food and house a few chickens, as well as have a workshop to better serve the hopeful restart of our construction company and its various materials. I hired a helper again, and just as we were getting to the point in her training that we could re-open one of the REI businesses, the owner of the rental property decided it was time to sell and we had to be out by April 1, 2022. The rental market was so crazy that we could not find an affordable replacement, but a friend of ours was kind enough to let us rent a property that had an RV and a garage on it so we did not have to move the whole operation back up to Prescott. The friend who had been living with us found a great place amongst family and is still helping to hand dig the cabin’s garage area due to his belief in our ministry goal, but the helper decided to move in a new direction.
* I finally recovered from the longer-lasting symptoms of my second round of Covid in July. I was researching what processes and funds it might take to renovate our property for the long-awaited ministry retreat when I noticed that sleeping on my left side was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I had noticed it a little in March and chalked it up to my Covid weight gain, but now it was becoming painful, as well as developing several other mysterious symptoms quite rapidly. After an exam by my Naturopath and several emergency scans, tests, and biopsies, it has now been determined that I have aggressive, inflammatory breast cancer, which is one of the rarer types. I was initially thought to be in stage 3 in July, which is when this type is usually discovered (not by the regular checkups) because it progresses so quickly, but now it has spread to my lungs, so it is designated stage 4. In most cases where the cancer is smaller and/or better contained, it is surgically removed and chemo or radiation is used to catch any stragglers, so to speak. In my case, however, it has spread into the skin and lymph nodes so it must be killed with four kinds of chemo before it can be safely removed and then follow-up radiation will be required. The plans for the retreat are obviously on hold again, so Replenishment Ministries is inactive for now, but I am in a weird situation with medical treatments. I am not old enough for Medicare quite yet so I belong to a Christian health share group. I believe that some of my treatment costs will be sharable, but I have to come up with a large portion of the money to pay upfront, then submit receipts each month for reimbursement, which takes another 2-3 months. Additionally, there will be times when Greg will miss work for my appointments and care, as well as taking over some of my responsibilities, which he will not get paid for since he is an independent contractor. We have spent all of our savings on the consults, exams, tests, and port surgery necessary to get to the point of being ready for the chemo, which will last 18 weeks in 21-day increments, and then the surgery will be after that. What we don’t have is approximately $60,000.00 for the first 2 ½ months of chemo, as well as whatever will be needed for the other related expenses, including the cost of bone marrow rebuilding shots given over four consecutive days after each round of Chemo and $4-6,000.00 for high dose intravenous vitamin C to help me survive the intense treatments. The two most essential things in my life are serving the Lord and being here to encourage my family and friends to keep fighting the good fight. I also love going on whatever adventures the Lord sends us on, even when we get ourselves into a bit of a pickle. We consider this another grand, adventurous path the Lord is directing us on and strongly believe in the power of prayer. We are also honored to be worthy of a Job-like test and we have complete faith in His power to carry us through to the other side. Therefore, we are reaching out to those who may have the desire to keep us in prayer and possibly the ability to assist us in this time of financial challenge. We will make updates as they occur, but if you have any questions, please contact DeeDee. Many thanks and blessings for your time, consideration, and generous support!
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