by Jennifer Robinson,
Published by Heroic Stories #496: 15 March
A few years ago, everything was going well for my husband and
me. We had moved back to Houston, my husband and I had new jobs,
we bought our first house, and I was pregnant with our first
child. Life was so full of happiness that I just had to share it
with others. I started looking for a volunteering opportunity
that I could continue after my baby was born.
By chance, I learned about Chemo Angels. It's a non-profit
volunteer organization that matches cancer patients with
"angels" who provide emotional support during chemotherapy,
radiation, surgery, and other cancer therapies. Laura Armstrong,
who lost her father to pancreatic cancer and started
corresponding with other cancer patients she knew, had founded
the group. I joined with enthusiasm.
I became a Chemo Angel in May 2001, and volunteered to be
matched with a person going through cancer treatments, offering
support through the mail. I sent a letter or a package at least
twice a week to my buddy in hopes of lifting her spirits. This
continued until she was declared in remission in October 2001.
Instead of requesting a new buddy right away, I asked Laura
if I could wait a month, since my baby was due in a few days.
She replied it was not a problem, just let her know when I was
ready to begin "angeling" again. I was disappointed not to get
right back into action, but I knew I would need time to adjust
to being a parent.
A week after I asked Laura for some time off, I began to get
mail from other Chemo Angels in the USA and other countries,
wishing me good luck with my son. Some sent cards, some sent
gifts, but all sent their love and support. They had perfect
timing. I was in my ninth month and getting uncomfortable.
Sometimes it seemed the pregnancy would never end.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude. My fellow angels lifted me
up when I was feeling literally weighed down. They gave me the
perfect baby gift: a happy attitude. They warmed my heart, and
allowed me to see how our buddies might feel when they get our
cards and packages. It was a wonderful feeling.
Even my buddy -- the woman I was assigned to help -- gave me
support. Close to my age, she was fighting breast cancer and
caring for her small son. While I offered comfort during her
cancer treatments, she gave me pregnancy advice and seemed to
feel my joy in the pregnancy as if it was her own.
Today I am still a Chemo Angel and so thankful to be part of
such a loving group. I was overwhelmed with gratitude towards my
fellow angels. Me! I'm just one person in the world, but they
took time out of their day to show me that they care.
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