Monday, October 10, 2011
Swimming for Katie
Usually it is exciting to be among the first to know something. There is that joy of excitement and anticipation, as when you know someone is expecting a baby or getting married, before it's made public. Other times, it is an honor, but one with a heavy heart, that you are among the first to learn news. Last December I received an e-mail from a friend who had received Katie Renz' permission to share with me a trial she was facing. There was a possibility that she might have cancer. Katie is one of my dear online stamping friends, and I was all too eager to pray for her. Just weeks before we had said our good-byes and buried my dear friend Linda who lost her battle with cancer, but gained eternal life. The summer of 2010 I sat in the "friend chair" in two infusion centers while two of my best friends received chemotherapy. Learning of Katie's possible cancer was simply surreal, but one I was all too familiar with.
As most of you know, Katie was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer in December. She spent Christmas in the hospital, a time that was supposed to be spent at Disneyland on vacation with her husband and 3 boys. Her cancer was inoperable, but she has been on a steady regimen of chemotherapy. During a break from the chemo her family took that trip to Disney! And to show you a touch of Katie's tenacity, check out this picture:
Katie is fighting this cancer with all she's got, but she also is dealing with this with a big dose of reality. In her last post, she talked about going shopping with her husband. Not for shoes or clothes, but for cemetery plots, coffins and headstones. That's Katie, thinking of things ahead of time so if/when the time comes, Kevin will not have to make those choices. She's not given up hope, though. She still uses the phrase, "short of a miracle," knowing that could happen.
Today a wonderful group of Katie's friends and stamping comrades have posted a blog hop as a way for others to help Katie, Kevin and the boys in a very practical way. Cancer not only takes a toll physically and emotionally, but also financially, even with the best of insurance policies. On this blog hop, you will have the opportunity to donate directly to help the Renz family as well as purchase some "digi stamps" with the cost also going to the family. You will also find Katie's mailing address if you'd like to send a card.
Please pray for this dear lady and her family. We are all still hoping for that miracle.