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I've known Vicky for a long time. More than a decade! *gasp* I know!
In high school, I became BFFs with her son, Jeremy. He introduced me to the family, and Vicky immediately welcomed me in! It was some adventure, too. There was NEVER a dull moment. Jeremy invited me to a retreat once, and while I wasn't entirely sure what it was all about at the time, I soon realized that I would be working with some very special people.
It quickly dawned on me that Vicky and her entire family was filled with passion and motivation to help other people who have been in similar places. You see, when Jeremy & I were fifteen, he shared with me that his little brother was a very sick little boy. Honestly, I didn't know what to do with that, so I just watched. And I listened. And before I knew it, I was walking side by side with him and his family, throughout the final years of Jerron's life.
When we were sixteen, I learned at the fair young age what it was to watch your best friend lose a younger brother to cancer. It was raw. A life-changing experience. There was only one question left in my mind:
How can I help make it better?
It wasn't long before I was volunteering with Vicky, Jeremy, and the rest of their family in a group that specifically catered to families of kids with cancer. God knows this wasn't an easy path to walk. Not for any person involved. It was incredibly emotional-- the lows of fearfulness and despondency, and the highs of overcoming a battle that no child should have to go through. The most important lesson I learned during that time was that there is no better treatment for illness than laughter.
A lot of these kids do far better with their illness than those of us around them. They laugh like there's no tomorrow-- and frankly, for some of them, that's because there might not be. Now that I'm a parent myself, I can hardly grasp the terror that parents who find themselves riddled with the full gamut of emotions that follow a serious diagnosis like cancer. I know, though, that the depth of the emotion rips its current through every cell in their body. It is overtaking, conquering, and debilitating.
When Vicky told me she was beginning a new turning point in the world of support for families of kids with cancer, I wasn't surprised. I didn't even bat an eye. Having gone through the experience herself, I believe there is no better person to put forth the energy and know-how needed to do this. She is extremely passionate about helping people-- about making sure that you're not alone when you need to talk, about holding your hand when there are no words to describe what you're experiencing, and about knowing exactly when to say the right thing that will remind you that there's not just tiny raindrops of hope-- but whole rivers and oceans of hope that will keep you moving through each day, at Just The Right Time...
I blushed when she asked if I was interested in helping. I'm not sure how much time I have to offer. I can't attend the meetings-- I have work, and school, and a family of my own to tend to. At the same time, I realized that this, too, is my calling. I have the talent of written word and I know a little about putting up a website.
If there's anything I can do, this is it. I am able to offer my writing, and Vicky is perfectly okay with that. And I will make time. And I will give what energy I have. Because I have someone who inspires me--who as ALWAYS inspired me-- to help. Someone who taught me when I was just a teenager that in spite of the pain that life sometimes brings us, there is great hope, and that laughter can heal almost anything.
I'm pleased to be part of this team. I will do my best to publish materials when I say I will.
And you... you just do exactly what it is that you're doing now to help with this group. And that will give me all the inspiration I need in order to write something beautiful.
Love you Vicky,
Heroes Forever is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. EIN 26-2614414 Copyright 2009 Heroes Forever. All Rights Reserved.
Providing support and planning fun for families who have a child with cancer.