A personal note from Jill

This week marks 3 years since we got the first “Yes,” from a facility that would allow us to serve as Chemo Buddies in the treatment room. I’ve spent some quality time this week being grateful and sentimental and I’d like to take a moment to recognize and give thanks to two ladies who were instrumental in the forming of Chemo Buddies — two unsung heroes who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes and gotten zero credit, until now.

Laurie and Susie, my sheroes.
Laurie and Susie, my sheroes.

Their names are Susie Gates and Laurie Speciale.

While I was accompanying Karen to chemo, I would often crash emotionally afterwards. It was Laurie and Susie who held me up in prayer and took care of me. When Karen passed away, they stood within “catching” distance for a long time waiting to catch me when I fell. Once again praying for me when I could no longer pray, enduring me during tearful fits of grief and self pity, and never once judging me for poor choices and bad behavior.

As the Chemo Buddies dream progressed, they gave good advice and lot of encouragement. They provided stability as I tried to navigate such an emotional assignment.

Laurie even reached out to one of the doctor’s wives which was pivotal in getting that crucial meeting scheduled so we could get our first, “yes.”

Today they serve as my most trusted friends and confidants. We have formed our own special kind of sisterhood. I know for certain that, like Job, God may have taken one of my sisters, but he gave me two more to fill that space until Karen and I are together again.

If you have ever benefitted from Chemo Buddies, please join me in thanking Susie and Laurie. Two wonderful women of God who have been instrumental in making it happen. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

race for the cure 2011


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