Stories of Hope
“I met a man who had anonymously donated his kidney. He said he did it for his faith. And I thought, ‘If he can do this for his faith, I can do this for my dad.’”
"I’ve always had an affinity for speed, but was not allowed to have a motorcycle when I was growing up. I began riding motorcycles shortly after graduating from Penn State. Being fresh out of college, I could not afford a race car, so I pursued the next best thing – a motorcycle!"
National Lymphedema Awareness Day was March 6th. Are you familiar with this side effect? There are many misunderstandings about this condition. Two years ago, after hearing from survivors and healthcare professionals about the need for more support, the Cancer Support Community GLV launched a monthly Lymphedema Support Group. Participants talk about ways they’ve worked through challenges and made accommodations to live a safe, healthy lifestyle with lymphedema.
“If it had to be someone, why not me? I had attitude, I saw the bad side of life in my profession, I smoked, and I was exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center. The odds were against me.”
Having worked several years as a medical assistant in an OB/GYN’s office, Fiorella Reginell-Mirabito understood the importance of mammography testing. Even with that knowledge, she admits to putting off her own yearly exam.
In life, you say “Yes” to experiences without even knowing how much it will teach you until years later.
“I remember that day,” said Rafael, a young man with a contagious smile and easy going nature. “It was really nice outside, and I was attending classes at Northampton Community College’s culinary school. But what began as a great day turned out horrible.”
"I thought, I can’t believe this is happening – not to both of us at the same time. I felt like I was drowning. We were both shell shocked. I prayed for God to take the worry from me. I prayed for us to be healed and find peace. I prayed not to be afraid."
"Perhaps, before you were diagnosed with cancer, you were just like I was. Busy. Busy taking care of your home, your family, your job, sweating the small stuff and desperately searching for a little “me” time. Then suddenly time stops while it also spins out of control and you are faced with more “me” time then you ever wanted."
"Those hills I run are very small compared to the pain and uphill battles of those with cancer. Whatever you do, never ever give up!!!”
"Take charge of your illness, surround yourself with those who stick with you for the long haul, and support you in good times and bad."
"It was evident that something was wrong, but we didn’t think it’d be anything serious."
“I felt sick to my stomach waiting for the final diagnosis. But even then, I held out a little hope,”
“I sat in the waiting room after my mammogram. One by one, the other women in the room had their mammograms and left, but I didn’t."
“My healing journey became an exciting adventure where I found endless healing strategies through expressive arts. Now I want to share these ideas with others who want to experience healing through the arts.”
“The Cancer Support Community is a model for disease management.”
"I saw too many people… going through this alone. I vowed that if I were to make it, I would…do what I could to reach out to them."
"If there were a Cancer Support Community in our town, mom would have had more resources to help her with dad's care, and dad would have had a place where he could go to find hope and comfort."
“If I can help someone else, it helps me. Helping someone takes me away from my own problems.”
"Deliberately paying attention to the spiritual, emotional, family, and community connections
makes all the difference in coping and recovery."
“Franklin found joy—if you can find joy in cancer—in every program here….He felt warm and very connected,”
"I am grateful beyond words for the community that was in my corner throughout this journey."
“When you are here you have a feeling of peace and acceptance. In my mind, I sometimes feel different, and I don’t like that. But here, I feel normal."
“That day, I felt like someone put my family in a big mixer and jumbled us up. When we fell out, I wondered if we would be the same people,” says JoAnn Siegfried Smith.
“My father died of prostate cancer. My brother died of prostate cancer. I have prostate cancer."
“Every so often, I think about my losses, but everything is relative when you have cancer. Each morning I wake up, I win.”
“At Wings of Hope we honor and remember people in an almost mystical way.”
“It was the most terrifying thing that I ever went through.”
“You might not have the same kind of cancer, but when you’re facing death, you have the same stressors.”
"Last year at this time I was bald."
"You have stage three ovarian cancer," said the doctor.
"Sometimes my support group made the difference between sanity and insanity."
"I very quickly realized without the support of CSC I wouldn’t have been able to get through my cancer treatment process.”
“I knew my dad would be watching over me during the race and pushing me to finish strong."
"My caregiver support meetings were the only fond memories I have of that painful time."