After nearly 18 years of marriage, Matt Herbster didn’t know how much more time he had with his high school sweetheart, Julie. She was 38 years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer last year, and the disease quickly spread to her liver.
Meet families impacted by Inheritance of Hope!
Lorenza Guereca doesn’t often let other people see what a challenge living with cancer has been.
She said strong faith keeps her positive after years of treatments. Lorenza, who lives with her husband and daughter in Lafayette, In., said she doesn’t dwell on her illness and makes the effort to maintain an optimistic attitude despite multiple diagnoses, hair loss, and hospital visits.
“You always see me with a smile,” she said. “I don’t think people realize how stressful it is.”
The stress began when
“There’s a really big need to tell your story,” said Julie Hull of Eagan, Minn.
Julie’s husband, Ken, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer after a blood clot was found in his calf three years ago. Ken was a long-distance runner, and the cancer stunned Julie and their 12-year-old son, Sam.
“It drew us into a totally different plane,” Julie said.
Soon the Hulls were making routine hospital visits. Ken underwent 18 rounds of chemotherapy, 10 rounds of radiation, and two brain surgeries.
This summer you can find the Lampe kids from Germantown, Ill., swimming at local pools and water parks.
“They don’t need big trips to a lot of places,” Lisa Lampe, mother of 10-year-old Jack and 6-year-old Jordyn, said. “If we go bowling one day, they’ll say this was the best day ever.”
Lisa said she and her kids have a special appreciation for the fun road-trip days that come between chemotherapy treatments and lab results.
“I can’t believe this is coming out of my mouth,” Kristen Ricciardelli said, “but I actually think it’s easier to be an active cancer patient than a post-cancer patient.”
She spoke from experience.
The mother of four from Milwaukee was still breast feeding her 8-month-old daughter when
Kim Bunner said living with cancer for more than a decade has given her perspective.
The illness brought her closer to her husband, Matt, and showed her children, 15-year-old Haylee and 12-year-old Cameron, how to be considerate, Kim said.
“You hate to say that something that is so hard on a family is a blessing,” she said.
“We see what stress really is and what stress really isn’t.”
Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, when Cameron was six months old.
Mikki Jeschke’s goals include volunteering, fundraising, and launching a non-profit organization. But the mother of two from Fishers, Indiana, didn’t have these projects in mind when she attended the Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® at Disney World with her family in May last year.
Mikki’s first diagnosis in May 2009 revealed stage III breast cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation, and drug treatments followed, and the Jeschkes thought
Tricia Lillard calls her experience with cancer an emotional roller-coaster.
“One of the biggest challenges is the uncertainty with which I have to live my life,” she said. “You think things are great then you get a bad scan or diagnosis.”
Two of her children, Tekia and Jamal, were one and six years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. Within three years
Bambi Byers, 40, said the Tim McGraw song “Live Like You Were Dying” sums up everything she could say about her husband, Marc, who passed away in March 2011.
“It was my husband to a ‘T,’” she said.
Marc was having trouble swallowing in June 2009, and a few months later doctors discovered a tumor in his esophagus. Bambi said Marc didn’t listen when he was told of his 25% chance of survival.