by Amber Recker, development director
For the past few weeks, the first thing I’ve done every morning when I get into the office is pull up the Lapper website to see how much money we’ve raised for much-needed programs for people with cancer in our community. Today, our total surpassed $45,000. That will go a long way in supporting families dealing with the health crisis that is cancer.
Those who know me best, know how much this organization means to me. My job here is much more than a job- it feeds my soul because I know that every ounce of energy I put in directly and positively impacts someone in our community who needs help. Our entire team feels that way and we have the great honor of sharing a small part of the cancer journey with our clients; their strength, in the face of fear and great challenges, inspires us. That is why we do what we do.
You too can be inspired by joining us for Lapper 2011. Walk alongside those who have faced a cancer diagnosis and continue to thrive. We cannot do what we do without generous supporters like you. Even if you can’t walk, consider making a donation to the event and know that your treasure will be put to good use. Here’s a glimpse of what your donation provides:
- $50 provides a wig for someone who is going through treatment
- $100 provides one month of nutritional supplement for a client
- $500 provides a year’s worth of prescriptions, food and co-pay assistance to a client
- $850 provides one hospital bed
- $1,000 provides one year of emotional support
by Dianne May, President & CEO
We’ve all heard by now that Elizabeth Edwards has died. She made it clear to friends and family that she didn’t want it said that “she lost her battle with cancer.” In her words, the battle is about living a good life and she won.
As overwhelming and all-consuming as a cancer diagnosis can be, most people come to the conclusion that they don’t want to be defined by their cancer experience. That’s true of many of the difficult challenges that life brings.
Elizabeth lost her first child in an auto accident when he was a teenager. I heard her in an interview once talking about grief and loss. She was firm in her belief that friends and family should never shy away from talking about someone who has died. Rather she believed that such conversations were not so much a reminder that the loved one had died but rather a reminder that the individual had lived and such memories brought joy.
By all accounts, Elizabeth was a strong and nurturing soul, a force to be reckoned with, and a woman who won her battle by living a good life.
by Gail Hamm, program director
I watched a webinar last week and the presenter talked about the Oz effect, as in The Wizard of Oz. You know the story. The characters traveled to Oz to meet the wizard hoping that he could solve their problems and give them what they needed- a way home, a heart, a brain, and courage. What the characters ultimately discovered is that the wizard was a sham and that he was unable to give them anything more than what they had come to him with.
They had the answers, the abilities, the strength and courage all along. It was inside each of them and they just had to discover that. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, she starts looking for the answers and the courage. Sometimes, out of the void, she is given the answers she needs. She finds superhuman strength to persevere. She endures experiences that a few weeks before would have seemed impossible. A cancer patient often finds within, more than would be thought possible.
When faced with a crisis, we discover our true selves. In addition, we discover our true friends and family. An additional source of strength and support is a Client Advocate from Cancer Services. Don’t hesitate to make that connection when you need it. When we don’t know if we have the strength within us, an understanding and knowledgeable friend can be a wonderful companion on the journey.
by Nimal Gernando, cancer survivor and Cancer Services client
One beautiful day in June 2008, I was attending a conference in Indianapolis and developed a slight and sudden pain in my lower abdomen. I tried to shrug it off, but it didn’t go away and actually got worse. I had a bad feeling about it, so I decided to head home. I called my wife on the way, and she suggested that I call the doctor. The doctor saw me right away, but he couldn’t find anything and suggested that I get a CAT scan. The scan showed a tumor blocking my colon, so I had a colonoscopy, which confirmed the tumor and I underwent surgery to remove it immediately. That was the beginning of a new life for me and one that has been humbling and challenging.
After my diagnosis, I found Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, which has been a huge source of support and encouragement to me and my family. My Client Advocate, Brandon, has been there at every turn and has never hesitated to provide the information that I need. I have also been enjoying the massages provided through its new program, Caring Touch. The experience is so relaxing and comforting. I am thankful to Cancer Services for the support and services provided on my journey.
My life goes on and I am enjoying it to the fullest. I have learned to look on the bright side and have been counting my blessings. I have two boys: Nathan (8) and Nelig (7). My wife, Shanthinie, has been strong and is taking care of me and the two boys with much courage and perseverance. She is scared, yet she has been there to support me and take care of the family throughout this journey. We do not have family in the area, so she has found strength in the community, especially from our church family, which has rallied around us and offered encouragement and support. Life is a struggle but I am keeping my hope alive.