Homeless with Stage 4 Cancer

This morning, we received a phone call from Virginia Oncology Associates in need of some assistance.  Richard is a 52 year old battling Stage 4 head and neck cancer.  He is alone and has someone that is allowing him to sleep on their screened in front porch for a fee.  Richard typically does odd jobs in the community to help him make enough money for his keep but has found himself in an unfortunate place at the end of his battle - just simply too sick!  The center is helping him to work on getting some assistance, but has been unsuccessful at this time, making him one of the statistics of people in our community "falling through the cracks."

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Your continued support of Adipsy allows us to assist patients like Richard on a daily basis by providing him transportation to his oncology appointments as well as financial assistance to help him pay for prescriptions and rent.  You are helping to make a difference in the life of Richard and others in our community and for that we are forever grateful!  

 

We couldn't do it without you!

Grateful does not even come close to expressing how we feel about our volunteers.  Meet Hunter Clarke - a loan officer for C & F Mortgage that takes time out of his schedule to delivery pastries to Chesapeake Regional Hospital and Riverside in Chesapeake, VA.  The patients at 13 oncology facilities in Hampton Roads look forward to their pastry deliveries on Friday mornings.  Panera partners with Adipsy to make this possible and our amazing volunteers make sure they are packaged and delivered.  This past year over $14k worth of pastries were delivered to patients in our local area through these efforts.  Find out how you or your business can get involved by visiting our website at www.adipsy.org today.  #weareadipsy  #mt2535

Always Encouraging.....

"Always encouraging" - "Alway's a big brother" - these are the words that several cancer patients have spoken to me in regards to the bigger than life compassion that Ja'Mi had for younger cancer patients at CHKD.  Ja'Mi was diagnosed in September 2016  with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) - he was treated with several cycles of chemotherapy and subsequently relapsed on treatment.  Ja'Mi was preparing for a transplant at Duke when he lost his battle with cancer.  Just days before he passed he attended one of his little buddies "celebration of life" services.   Little did his mom know that this would be his last big event.  Ja'Mi's mom is needing some assistance with his funeral expenses - a worry that no parent should ever have to face.  We would love to bless this family the way that Ja'Mi blessed everyone that he came met.  Please visit www.adipsy.org to donate in his memory.  You will be able to click a drop button that will allow you to designate your giving.  #weareadipsy #mt2535 

Needing you to be part of the village today...

They say "it takes a village" or a community of people coming together for one cause to make a difference.  Today we are asking you to be part of that village.  If you visited CHKD or a few other cancer treatment facilities you may have met Louis Vanderslice  -  known as "Louie" or "Loudog" to those who were close to him.  He was often dressed in a super hero costume running the halls - and that he truly was - a super hero - a  warrior fighting a very hard battle.  Louie was diagnosed in May 2015 with T-Cell ALL.  He relapsed in October 2016 after 18 months of treatment.  On March 7th at 3:30 a.m. -  this sweet 3 year old  traded his super hero powers for angelic wings with his parents by his side.  No matter how much you plan as a parent you are never prepared for those last moments or the days following.  

ADIPSY is asking for your help as we take some of the pressure off of this family by helping with funeral expenses.  Any donation no matter how great or how small will be used towards helping the costs to make this a celebration of this young warrior - this super hero's life.  Your generosity will take the pressure off of Louie's parents and allow them to be comforted by others during this very difficult time.  When making a donation for this specific need please visit the www.Adipsy.org page and put "Louie" in "In Honor Of" box.Thank you in advance for helping us bless this family.  #mt2535  #weareadipsy #ittakesavillage

Is this thing on.....

This picture pretty much sums up my amazing granddaughter.  The lop-sided and over sized sunglasses, her gorgeous curly hair and that smile that makes my heart melt!!  She is a complete joy and endless entertainment.  My daughter and son-in-love have regular date nights and those nights are always the highlight of my week - getting to watch my two grandchildren!  This past week if you are my friend on FB you probably saw an unusually long facebook live post.  This sweet girl got a hold of grandma's phone and recorded an hour long live session (which has now been erased  - lol) without her grandparents aware of what she was doing.  If you had the privilege of seeing this post you mostly heard her talking and pictures of her forehead.  

The next morning when I saw comments under the live video I realized what had happened.  This started to make me think  - what if the cameras were turned on our lives for the world to see - what would they see?  Would they find you living out loud or comfortable in the routine of every day?  When the final scene from our life is playing out will you feel that you have accomplished something and been part of something that is bigger than you or will there be a void?  One thing that I have learned since my personal battles with cancer is to seize the day - take risks - and love others with no restraints!  Seize the day my friends - you will never get to do it again. #mt2535 #weareadipsy #seizetheday 

We All Need Somebody to Lean On...

Caleb N.  may seem like any other 3 year old playful little boy -  but in all honesty  - this little guy has been in a battle to beat cancer.  Caleb was diagnosed in May 2015 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 2 1/2 years old.  Caleb's mom is  a single parent with two children under the age of 3 - grateful for any and all help she can get.  She faces the circumstance that no parent should have to face - the decision between getting a job and being there for her son during treatment. They spent their holiday season at the hospital with Caleb not only battling cancer but now with respiratory failure which has caused him to have seizures.  When you have a child with a terminal illness -  holding down a job with unpredictable doctors visits can be a problem - even more so when you are the primary care giver.

Caleb's home does not have a working HVAC system (heating/air) and is need of a $3600 repair.  His mom could also use some help with gas cards to get them back and forth to CHKD as they live a distance away.  Your donations help Adipsy take care of needs like these when they arise.  When we all work together and give according to what we have -  we are able to change a community.  Won't you make a decision today to help make a difference in a life of someone like Caleb?  #mt2535  #weareadipsy #lovethyneighbor

End Of Life Care.......

End of Life Care are words that you never want to hear - especially when it is a phrase associated with your 7 year old son.  When we received the call about this child I became extremely upset - Caleb is someone's brother, son, grandson, nephew.....these thoughts began to pour through my mind as I tried to process the situation.  Caleb was diagnosed in January of 2015 with Osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer).  Almost a year after his diagnosis his family has been released from further treatment and are now working with hospice.   Your donations each month help families like Caleb's  by making the financial burden that comes with cancer a little lighter.  With your help we are able to make sure everyday chores i.e., housecleaning, meals, groceries and paying unexpected bills are taken care of so this family can concentrate on their one mission at hand - to fight cancer and make every moment a memory with their son.  By donating to Adipsy - a public non profit charity - you are making the lives of patients in your community and across America a little easier.   You can designate where you would like your funds directed by clicking the drop down button on our donate page.  Won't you join with Adipsy today and help make a difference to those fighting this battle.

End of Life Care are words that you never want to hear - especially when it is a phrase associated with your 7 year old son.  When we received the call about this child I became extremely upset - Caleb is someone's brother, son, grandson, nephew.....these thoughts began to pour through my mind as I tried to process the situation.  Caleb was diagnosed in January of 2015 with Osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer).  Almost a year after his diagnosis his family has been released from further treatment and are now working with hospice.  

Your donations each month help families like Caleb's  by making the financial burden that comes with cancer a little lighter.  With your help we are able to make sure everyday chores i.e., housecleaning, meals, groceries and paying unexpected bills are taken care of so this family can concentrate on their one mission at hand - to fight cancer and make every moment a memory with their son.  By donating to Adipsy - a public non profit charity - you are making the lives of patients in your community and across America a little easier.   You can designate where you would like your funds directed by clicking the drop down button on our donate page.  Won't you join with Adipsy today and help make a difference to those fighting this battle.

special needs teacher finds herself in need

"One of the most kind  - sweet spirited ladies I have ever met..." were the words that Mrs. Johnson's oncology navigator used to describe her.  Mrs. Johnson (pictured here) was a public school special needs teacher until her own personal needs became a battle for survival last year.  She was diagnosed in 2011 with stage 4 breast cancer that has now metastasized to her brain.  When I spoke with her today she spoke with no fear but a fight!  Her team has exhausted all avenues and in search of a new plan - but you would never know it by speaking to her.  Mrs. Johnson who was always so giving to her community now found herself needing some help.  She had developed lymphedema in her arm and needed a machine that would help reduce the swelling.  Her insurance did not fully cover this device that she so desperately needed.  Your support helped to make sure that she knew her community was now giving back.  Adipsy was able to step in and help with the purchase of this machine.  Mrs. Johnson - with a fragile yet determined voice - wanted to make sure that our donors know how grateful she is - you are helping to make a difference!  

CHKD Survivor Day 2016

The laughter of children was all around at CHKD's survivor Day 2016. Its such a joy and honor that Adipsy can be apart of having fun with so many young fighters! 

Fighting cancer is something that no-one should ever face, especially a child, but as we all know thats not the case. That's why we love survivor day. It's a time where kids of all ages join their families and connect with other kids who have fought or who are fighting for their lives. 

This year Adipsy supported CHKD as kids sang, bounced, enjoyed food, crafts and were simply allowed to be kids. 

Click the image above to see a recap video of the day. 

Why I Volunteer....

Renee Perry

In Texas, I was a nurse for over 25 years which put me in a position to care for and participate in patient's healthcare.  My favorite part of that however is when relationships would develop and real needs, care and concerns would be shared - I loved that and always wanted to do more.  However, in the medical field my hands were somewhat tied.  

With my husband's job transfer we moved to Virginia and in purchasing our home we began spending time with the McCloud family.  It didn't take long to realize that this family was not the typical family, there was something quite different about them.  We knew they founded a non profit but we soon learned the driving force of Adipsy and it's the heart of the McCloud's.  

As we began to spend time with them the stories of their lives and their journey would be told in a heart wrenching tale after tale of cancer touching their lives - but could see their joy never wavered.  Their faith still just as strong.  I have watched Christy McCloud juggle her real estate career along with taking care of her family all the while handling the needs of Adipsy.  This is never a burden or inconvenience when someone has a need - she actually thrives on making sure the need is met.  Whether it's paying the rent of a cancer patient, coordinating  meals to those in treatment. paying utilities for a family or donating a car she gets it done with her amazing team and they are all so happy to do so.  One day as we were delivering Panera to patients in treatment - I got a glimpse of a woman sitting in a recliner with a lovely scarf on her head and a needle in her arm - receiving treatment.  At that moment I remember the stories that Christy had shared and realized it was not long ago that my friend was in those same chairs receiving treatment.  She was not thinking of her needs at that moment but about the needs of the people sitting around her - this is where Adipsy was founded.  Watching her entire family - you realize their love for this cause - and that is what they do - love on others.  It is genuine and real and it has showed me what a difference I personally and we all can make.  I am now able to help others but volunteering with Adipsy like never before.

 

 

stable......clean........no sign of reoccurrence

Lauren and Dr. Bevan 

Lauren and Dr. Bevan 

Yearly MRI's are not something that you look forward to as a patient or a parent.  Every year two weeks prior to our daughters exam I find myself very tense - nightmares occur and my overall demeanor changes.  Even though you have faith  - you are HUMAN and the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming to say the least.  You hold on to the hope that every year you will hear the report of - "STABLE - CLEAN - NO SIGN OF REOCCURRENCE".  Last night we were able to rejoice - cancer came to destroy Lauren on November 23, 2005 in the form of  stage 3 medulloblastoma - but she won the battle!!   After 10 1/2  years of holding our breathing - praying and everything else that a parent does when your child is going through something that you can't fix - we were given the final report that she would no longer be a patient at CHKD - no more brain scans - she beat it!  10 1/2 years ago our life came to a stop as we stood beside Lauren in the battle of her life and last night it stopped again - but this time there were tears of joy!  One of the things that we have learned is to appreciate each day you are given - and to stop and  celebrate moments along the way.  I can not even describe the weight that was finally lifted off of my shoulders - but at the same time carrying the weight of those that are still in need.  It is out of our own experiences and stories that have been shared with us by others along our journey  - that helping those battling pediatric cancers will forever be something we do.

Lauren is pictured here with Dr. Bevan - not only her oncologist for 11 years -  but now our family.....so grateful!

 

What if......

My daughter shared with me that prior to beginning to work with ADIPSY,  when she heard that people were alone through treatment, she thought it meant that they were living independently but with relatives or friends close by.  She had no idea that there were people in communities,  like the one that we live in,  who literally have no one to rely or depend on.  The desire to begin ADIPSY began while I was on treatment and noticed a senior citizen that was  weak, feeble and very alone.  She would have transportation pick her up and drop her off each week at treatment.  This was hard for me to watch as I know I was having to tell my amazing support group to stop bringing meals, cleaning, etc.....

We received a call from one of our local hospitals that Debbie (the beautiful lady pictured above) maybe dehydrated and alone at her home.  Without even thinking I stopped to pick up what the hospital recommended and headed her way to deliver a supply of items that would help hydrate her.  Once I arrived this beautiful woman met me at the door with tears in her beautiful eyes and said "I think I need to go to the emergency room - I have no insurance - I can't afford for an ambulance to pick me up - is there anyway I could bother you to take me."  I explained to her that it was no bother but an honor to be able to help her.  Once we arrived to the hospital she asked if I could stay with her - she didn't want to sit alone.  Although she was so happy to have me sit with her until she admitted  - I was the one who left truly blessed.  I had memories flooding me with the little lady in treatment - at that moment the heart of ADIPSY truly came full circle for me.  I am so grateful each and every day that I get to be part of such an amazing organization that is offering a "hand up" to the hurting.  

It's our Birthday!

Thinking back years ago to the day when Bill and I gathered around the kitchen table with our children to begin putting ideas and plans together for what was heartfelt - ADIPSY.  Our vision was to create a community of supporters and volunteers to assist cancer patients of any age financially, physically and emotionally.

ADIPSY launched on May 26, 2015. Friends and family celebrated our vision that glorious evening and thanks to our generous supporters and volunteers the vision became reality soon afterwards.  In the past one year, volunteers donated 1000 hours and ADIPSY gave more than $30,000 directly to cancer patients and their families.  This is an accomplishment made possible only because of your support – your volunteer hours – your donations – your words of encouragement and your prayers – “THANK YOU!!!”

We are looking forward to a great future with new opportunities, new programs, and exciting events – but most importantly – to helping more cancer patients and their families!   

                                                                                      

Thank you!

One of my favorite things to do each week - meet with this amazing team.  The creativity and passion that flows out of this room is sometimes overwhelming.  We spend a few hours together going over all events and how we can raise awareness and funding to help all of the needs that come into Adipsy on a daily basis.  Their heart for Adipsy shows up in their spirit of volunteer and compassion towards each patient.  After hours of meeting yesterday morning they went into a board meeting last night prepared to give updates in "All Things Adipsy".  This is just a small group that represents the many volunteers that make Adipsy what it is today - we appreciate each and every one of you!

Pink, Powerful & Perky

Sentara Surgeon - Dr. Jennifer Reed

Sentara Surgeon - Dr. Jennifer Reed

It was such an honor to meet with Dr. Jennifer Reed today at her office - she is the amazing, intelligent woman who performed all of my surgeries and was the leader in the whole process of not only helping me - but also my mom and sister - beat breast cancer. It was without hesitation that Adipsy accepted the honor of partnering with Dr. Reed and her Oncology support group. Adipsy will be working with Dr. Reed on a daily basis assisting her cancer patients and holding monthly support meetings for breast cancer survivors - whether they were diagnosed today or are celebrating years of remission.  We are excited to announce the new breast cancer division of Adipsy - Pink, Powerful & Perky!!  

ADJUST YOUR SAILS

AUNT DEAN GIVING HER NEPHEWS A DANCE LESSON

AUNT DEAN GIVING HER NEPHEWS A DANCE LESSON

Throughout the past 12 years of ups and downs and family members battling cancer one thing that we have had to learn to do is adjust our sails.  One of the most constants in my life has been my sweet aunt dean and uncle bob.  They have not only been amazing role models but also a second set of parents to me - I even lived with them for a bit after I graduated high school.  If you want a description of true southern hospitality you would only need a brief encounter with my aunt.  Even pictured here - she was determined not to let cancer defeat her - although there have been moments that I am sure she has felt that would be the easier road - she pushed through like a true warrior!  Aunt dean was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer shortly after my breast cancer diagnosis - she has been in and out of remission for the past 4 1/2 years.  Today, as I am consumed with preparing for an adipsy board meeting this evening and excited about all that 2016 will hold I received a message that she has a malignant spot on her spine and in her brain.  She will begin radiation tomorrow on both spots after receiving the news today.  When people ask - why does adipsy do what it does?.....this is the why.  There are so many people in my community - in your community that do not have a support system or family connections like my aunt dean.  They are looking for someone to fill in the gap - I am determined that I will be that someone.  Always looking for new ways to bless someone - always encouraging - always comforting - always giving.....always adjusting the sails to help someone in need.

I POSTED YESTERDAY , MY DESK, WHICH WAS COVERED WITH REQUESTS FROM AN ONCOLOGY NAVIGATOR....A BUSY DAY FOR ME SO OFTEN MEANS THAT OTHERS ARE HAVING LESS THEN AMAZING DAYS....I FEEL THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD ON MY SHOULDERS WANTING TO HELP EACH AND EVERY REQUEST.  THOSE REQUESTS, HAVE STORIES ATTACHED....STORIES THAT BELONG TO PEOPLE.  PEOPLE THAT NEED HELP.

FOR EXAMPLE, A MOM THAT STARTED A BAKE SHOP OUT OF HER HOME TO HELP MEET THE NEEDS OF HER FAMILY.....HAVING FACED A CANCER DIAGNOSIS FOR THEIR 4 1/2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER.  I LOOK AT MY GRANDCHILDREN AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO HER.....I HAVE BEEN THERE WITH MY OWN DAUGHTER....I HAVE BEEN IN HER SHOES....KNOWING THE PAIN OF WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE YOUR CHILD BATTLE THIS DISEASE.  THE DAD WAS EMPLOYED BY THE MILITARY AND JUST GOT OUT THIS FALL.  THE FAMILY WAS NOT IN A POSITION FINANCIALLY WHERE THEY COULD CONTINUE TO PAY FOR THEIR INSURANCE UNTIL HE FOUND ANOTHER JOB.  NO ONE PLANS FOR CANCER - THINKING EVERYONE IS HEALTHY (AS THEIR DAUGHTER WAS IN REMISSION FOR TWO YEARS) HE BEGAN SEARCHING FOR A NEW JOB THAT WOULD PROVIDE INSURANCE.  ON CHRISTMAS EVE 2015 - THEY WERE GIVEN THE NEWS THAT THEIR DAUGHTER WAS NO LONG IN REMISSION.  SHE IS NOT RESPONDING TO TREATMENT AND NEEDS A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT.  WITHOUT INSURANCE IS IT DIFFICULT TO FIND A FACILITY THAT WILL PROVIDE THE TRANSPLANT.  THIS FAMILY HAS APPLIED FOR GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE BUT HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED AS OF YET - DEVASTATING - UNFAIR - AWFUL...

THESE ARE THE TYPES OF NEEDS WE ARE RECEIVING - RIGHT IN YOUR COMMUNITY - NEEDS THAT WE SO WANT TO HELP......