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.
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
“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.
The January 2013 Orlando Legacy Retreat will kick off tomorrow! This year, we have 16 families from around the country including: Arizona, North Carolina, New York, Indiana, California, Wisconsin, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Similarly, our loving and servant-hearted volunteers are from Florida, Georgia, Colorado, New York, Tennessee, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Maryland.
As we were driving to my son's preschool graduation, my sweet 5 year old was explaining that he and each of his classmates were going up on stage and they were going to have to say in the microphone what they want to be when they grow up.
"What are you going to say?" I asked him.
"A drum player..... I would really like to change my answer but I can't because it is too late."
"It's already printed on my diploma."
30 days from today Inheritance of Hope will be welcoming 16 families from all over the country to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a trip of a lifetime!!! As I get to know these families, I am amazed at some of the similarities. In my mind I already see the friendships developing between the children of similar ages and the parents with the same illnesses.
We even have two families that (when I google mapped their addresses) live just a few miles from each other! (It's a small world after all....) These families are strangers right now but in a month they will be friends AND neighbors (literally)!
Although we serve a wide variety of families with a wide variety of conditions it always amazes me that the community that develops at our Legacy Retreats is very rich and unified. These families may come from all over the country but they have much in common.
It's a great day in Orlando Florida. The sun is shining. The temperatures are in the 70s. All of the families and volunteers are well-rested after a good night's sleep.
We met for breakfast this morning and then had a counseling session, followed by lunch at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. The children had a wonderful time in their morning session and have already seemed to form some incredible friendships with the other children as well as the volunteers and staff. There always seems to be a lot of noise coming from the children's sessions as they laugh and joke and play together. All the while they are learning some major lessons in anger management, how to handle fears, hurts and frustrations, and communication skills. It is difficult to describe the bonds that these children feel with one another as they share these unique and difficult circumstances.