Hello Friends and Family,
As many of you know, Trent was diagnosed with Follicular B Cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the end of February and during our journey we have realized how supported, loved and truly blessed we are.
While Trent's condition is treatable, it is not curable so this will likely be a life long chronic condition that we know we will be able to manage as God has shown us over the past several weeks that He's got this. Through your prayers and His provisions and blessings (which have been many) , Trent and I are doing very well. As a matter of fact, we sometimes feel guilty that we are not able to take you up on your offers for "help" and "support" because we know from experience and from watching others struggle, that most do not have it as good.
For those of you who have offered or want to help, we've got an opportunity that would mean so much to Trent and I as our hearts are heavy and we feel a burden to spread the love, joy and blessings we've received over the past several weeks.
Over the past several weeks, God has put into our hearts to start a non-profit for those suffering with cancer and their families. We've been blessed with time to spend together to do what is best for our physical and emotional wellbeing during this crisis ,but this is not the norm for most.
As a matter of fact, many patients and their families find that the financial and emotional burden a cancer diagnosis places on a family is daunting at best. Did you know ,for example, that many families facing cancer are also faced with difficult decisions like paying for the prescriptions they need to manage chemo symptoms versus paying for the gas to get to treatments? Or, that some are not able to continue to make utility payments because the financial burden leaves them no choice but to turn the heat and air conditioning down when their bodies need it the most. Or, that some care givers give up so much of themselves and are so financially burdened that they cannot afford to take the time out that they need to do a little pampering (which we all need from time to time). Or, how difficult it is to sit in that chair for up to 8 hours during treatment a day, months on end without hope or joy? These are all things that we have learned and have been humbled by over the past several weeks.
These are the questions we've asked ourselves over the past several weeks while we've been abundantly blessed:
How can we not do something about those who are suffering to make their days just a little brighter and to give them hope.
How can we see the multiple needs around us and not do something significant to help meet those needs and show all of God's people that they matter?
Over the past several weeks, I've been praying that God show us the way to help others and if it is in His will, that He give us an opportunity to start a non-profit (secretly, I was wondering how on earth we would ever be able to do this, it's daunting) My prayer was quickly answered today. I had an opportunity to give out what are called "port pillows" that one of Trent's colleagues and friends (Lynn Mitchell Frick), made for the treatment center that he attends.
First of all, you should have seen the joy on patients faces when they received such a thoughtful gift. The pillows are meant to put on your seatbelt to keep it from hurting around the port site. The second thing that happened is that the Director came over to thank us and I had an opportunity to ask "what would cancer patients and their families need most" and" is there an opportunity for a non-profit start-up" to meet some of those needs. Her eyes lit up and she told us about an organization called Stretch the Ride ( http://strpottstown.com/ ) which works to provide for those needs I just mentioned above.
She explained to us that there is more need than funds right now and that one of their fundraisers would not be occurring this year. She suggested that we start a fundraiser, which would give me an opportunity to work with them and learn about non-profits. They even have an open board position which might be an opportunity as we build their trust and work with this organization.
In order to spread the love and blessings quickly, Trent and I have made our first donation of 1500.00 to purchase 20 chemo cozy jackets (comfortable jackets patients can wear to their appointments that have openings in all the right places for picc lines, ports and IVs) and to make 20 blankets. We are also starting this Go Fund Me site hoping that you will take the opportunity to give and spread the love and blessings on Trent's behalf.
Our goal is to raise 10,000 for this organization and Trent and I will be matching the first 5,000 in donations. Just to give you a glimpse of what this means to people, when I told the Director how we would get this started, she cried and hugged me and told me what a big difference the initial donation and meeting our goal would make.
Here is an example of what your donations can do:
$10.00-Gas card to get to 2-3 treatments
$20.00 -1 cozy blanket for someone in treatment
$10-$40.00-Average co-pay for prescription drugs used to handle chemo side effects
$50.00-Restaurant card for a "spouse night out" during "good" nights $70.00-chemo cozy jacket for a patient (the goes through them quickly) $75.00-$150.00-massage, facial, haircut, spa day for a caregiver $100.00-utility payment
$500.00-700.00 mortgage payment
If you provide your name on gofundme and email me your address, a giving statement will be sent to you for your donation (my email is email@example.com). This does not work if you give an anonymous donation. No donation is too big or too small.
Mark 12:30-32 tells us that the first of our greatest commandments is that we love The Lord our God who is one. The 2nd greatest commandment is that we should love one another as we love ourselves.
We are starting our journey of loving others as we love ourselves and hope that you will join us in giving and sharing this with your facebook friends. We are so excited to see how God uses you and us to love and bless others.
More posts to come regarding how your love is being received!
Love, Marcy & Trent
- Andrea Potts
- Andrea Host
- Paul Smyk
- Jonny Beckwith
- Sharyn Mandell