This picture was taken on the morning of December 23, 2019 as we presented $650,000 to the Levine Children’s oncology team. This particular morning was incredibly special to me for several reasons, not only because of the big dollar signs.
Many of you know, I lost my mom suddenly on November 3rd, to ovarian cancer. The holidays were thrown right on top of that, so these last few months have rubbed my family raw. The outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming with almost $10,000 donated to ISF in honor of my Mom. Amid so much pain and grief, each donation brought a little unexpected joy to our broken hearts.
My family was in town for the holidays, so I asked my Dad to go with the team up to the hospital to present this check. Afterall, almost $10,000 of that check included all of Mom’s tributes we received at the end of the year. I also thought it would be great to show him the place and the people I work so passionately for, day in and day out. Dad was thrilled and asked if we could head up a little early to visit with Merritt and her parents since they were in clinic that morning.
Why did my Dad want to visit with Merritt and her family? He wanted to personally say ‘Thank You’ to them for attending my Mom’s Celebration of Life. To say, ‘Thank You’ for driving 10+ hours round trip across the state for a woman they have never met. To say ‘Thank You’ for honoring her and paying tribute to her. And to say ‘Thank You’ for supporting us. It was so thoughtful that they took the time to support our family during such a difficult time.
Thinking back to December 23rd as being incredibly special, is an understatement. For me it signified strength, healing, love, guidance, family, encouragement, lasting legacy, change and so much more. A full circle moment for us celebrating my Mom’s life in a special way and giving my Dad the opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to a cancer family I support… that is now supporting us. In hindsight, it would have meant the world if my Dad was in the picture with us, but just his being there meant everything.
Tribute. Legacy. Honor… all words you will hear us say A LOT this year at ISF. We are so excited for what’s to come, because every move we make in 2020 will be in honor of someone special. We want to help turn all the pain into change for kids fighting cancer.
Together we can help kids Beat Cancer, Grow Hair, and Live Their Dreams.
Rachel, ISF Marketing Director