A Survivor and Caregiver: A Force for Good

My friend Sharon’s husband just had his feeding tube removed after chemo and radiation for oral cancer. She still had 8 cases of liquid food which she wanted to donate, preferably to another survivor who needed the financial assistance. She contacted me. As founder and chair of the Oral Cancer Awareness Walk of the Lehigh Valley, I know local people in different stages of treatment for oral cancer. I put Sharon in touch with just the right person.

Cindy had Stage III oral cancer in 2008 requiring removal of 25% of her tongue. In 2009, three days after she was permanently laid off from her job, she had a neck dissection and which showed positive lymph nodes, requiring chemo and radiation. Her significant other of two years could not cope and ended their relationship. Then, in 2011, she had a recurrence. Liquid food is not covered by insurance, and she struggled to afford it.

Grateful for the opportunity to do a good deed, Sharon drove to Cindy’s home to deliver the cases of liquid food. In meeting Cindy, Sharon realized the possible scenario if her husband wasn’t diagnosed early, followed by a successful treatment. They became fast friends and talked for a long time, something they both needed.

I received a thank you note from Cindy the next week which said her tongue got really burned during radiation and the food couldn’t have been more timely. I got a thank you note from Sharon saying how grateful she was for the introduction. She added that she will remain in contact with Cindy and pray for her recovery.

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