Grief and Gratitude

by Heather Salazar, CEO/President

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Eugenia (second from the left) was the very first client we served.  We literally delivered meals by hand to her and her three children. She has been a part of my life for the past 6 years. She brought myself and my family so much joy as we traveled with her on her cancer journey. 

Two days ago, I received word that Eugenia had taken a turn and she was moved to hospice. I was out of town for business, but as soon as my plane hit the ground in Columbus I got in my car and drove straight there. I thought I was prepared, but walking in - well, it was gut wrenching to say the least.  

I sat next to her in her bed. We talked. She was very alert and coherent. She said "Heather, I wanted more time, but I know they thought I would live 3 months, 6 years ago."  As coherent as she was, I knew there was not much time. 

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Her mother called me the next morning. Eugenia earned her wings at 5:10 am.

This one has torn me apart.  There are no words to express my grief. There are also no words to express my gratitude.

Our programs give clients like Eugenia the quality of life to be able to fight.  They give them a chance to turn 3 months into 6 years. These programs are made possible because YOU support us. You continually support us! All I can say is "Thank you so much."  I am so grateful. Thank you for helping our sweet Eugenia. 

It is good for us to remember: we really never know how much time we have. It is also good to remember, every hand that is behind this amazing organization - every dollar that comes in - makes the burden lighter for our clients.

Those hands are YOUR hands.