I was starting to write a post about how Thanksgiving is a weird holiday for me. I was prepared to lament a little bit about how the ghost of Thanksgiving past sometimes interferes with my ability to fully enjoy Thanksgiving present.
Then, this link showed up on my Facebook feed through a friend of mine.
It took my breath away for a moment. As I poked around and found the Facebook page, I saw something that Angi had posted:
I really don’t know what to say about this; thank you from the bottom of my heart to Kristi Haivala and Matt Wilczynski for creating this fundraiser. I am humbled, grateful, speechless, blessed.
Kristi and Matt couldn’t have known the timing of this; One year ago today I received a phone call from the pulmonary oncologist’s office confirmin g that the suspicious mass biopsied in my lung was not lung cancer but instead metastatic melanoma. Some cells escaped from the skin melanoma I had surgery for the year before and nested in my lung. Just like with 9-11-01, I can remember exactly where I was when she called – Joe was midturn pulling the van into Memorial Sloan’s parking garage for us to meet with her and Dr. Adusumilli. She called me out of courtesy to give me time to mentally prepare for our meeting. That evening I found out that my furnace room was the most noise proofed room in our house, no one was able to hear me break down in there. It took Joe a little bit to find me, i can even remember the anguish in his face as he pulled me off the ground. It’s been a rough year. I learned a lot about myself – my strengths, my pain threshold, my faith, my weaknesses, but most importantly, just how blessed I am. – and I realized how much I actually liked my unruly red hair, it takes having something taken away to fully appreciate it! :)I would like to humbly ask my friends if you could share this link on your Facebook page. I can’t work right now, I wanted to go back to work so I could take care of this upcoming copay, math tutoring at least, but my health is too unpredictable thanks to the side effects of my medicine. As you guys have read in my posts, I’ll get one glorious evening of feeling ‘normal’ and then get a week of payback in bed.I thank you in advance, thank my friends that have already shared this before I even woke up today, and especially thank Matt and Kristi for creating this. Kristi I love you, I’m sorry the stupid cancer cancelled my trip to see you and Gina, I pray we’ll see each other soon. Thank you everyone, and thank you for everyone who has prayed for me this past year, sent me notes and touching gifts (Jaime the orchid is still alive, sort of!), and who has offered me encouraging words to continue fighting even on the days I just wanted to crawl in a hole and cry. I’ve never fought something like this, its surreal, and pray none of my family and friends ever have to. Love, me
I don’t know Angi. But, from the little bit I have gleaned about her from reading her story, I know I would like her. And, come on…who wouldn’t want to be friends with this girl:
But, I know what it’s like to spend Thanksgiving in a hospital, unsure of what the year ahead will hold. I know what it’s like to watch your best friend battle cancer at a young age. I know what it’s like to be a mother and how fiercely you love your children. I can’t for even one second pretend to know what it’s like to be a mother facing this kind of illness. I can’t imagine having to make a decision like deployment during war time in order to pay for medication. It’s not right. Joe needs to be home with his family.
This Thanksgiving, as you prepare to feast around a table with family and friends and give thanks for all of the things that you have to be thankful for, I hope you’ll remember Angi and her family in your prayers. And, before you go out shopping on Black Friday, or better yet, Small Business Saturday, I hope you’ll consider sending $5 to help Angi and her family.
For most of us, $5 is so little that we spend it without thinking. For her, it could mean a life-saving treatment with her husband by her side.
Thanks for making a difference.