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The Survivor

Tonight, a cancer survivor and single-mother of 2 daughters, will put a bowl in her microwave to warm water to give her 8-month-old granddaughter a bath.  The Topeka mother hasn’t had the best of luck but because she is blessed to be able to wake up each day and be cancer-free, she carries on about her day filled with anticipation and excitement.  Just one year ago, Linda didn’t know if she would be alive today.  Despite all of the things that would get the typical person “down”, Linda carries on with her head held high and with a smile on her face.

In March of 2011, Linda was met with the fact that her 16-year-old daughter was pregnant.  Sadly, she didn’t have much time to process the news because in April of that very same year, she found herself in the emergency room and in receipt of devastating news.  An ache in her side was determined to be caused by a large mass on her right ovary.  After numerous doctors visits, she finally ended up at KU Cancer Center.  By June, Linda had her first surgery.

Because of the very aggressive form of Ovarian cancer she had, Linda had to go through 8-hour long chemotherapy treatments, 5 days a week.  By October of last year, Linda had her last surgery and was told that she was “cancer free”.  To hear those words, well, I just can’t imagine what that would feel like.  I sit here with my pretty comfortable life and I try to put myself in that situation and I just can’t.  I could never dream of fighting cancer and frankly, I doubt I could.

By January of 2012, Linda was released to return to work on a “part-time” basis.  She went back to “full-time” this February.  Things have been pretty rough because while chemo saved her life, it also caused havoc on her body.  Over the past few months Linda has missed work quite a bit due to residual effects of her chemo.  Unfortunately, Linda has no sick or vacation time remaining because she used it all up during her bout with cancer.  Any missed time she has results in a loss of wages and income.  Being that she’s a single mom and is raising daughters that are 12 and 17, a grandchild and a rescued dog (hence the fact that I am writing this story), you can imagine that any loss of income is detrimental to her ability to provide a good life for herself and her family.

Vinny says “Help my mom. She saved me and now I want to save her!”

So, why the story, Darath?  Well, why not?  Earlier this year, Linda’s gas was turned off because she couldn’t afford the bill.  The utility company had been working with her as much as they could over the course of time that she had no income but eventually, resources ran out and her promises became broken.  Kansas Gas Service is owed $410 before they will re-connect Linda’s service.  Linda has never complained about this and the information was only made known when she asked for help for her rescued pup who showed some behavioral issues.  Yes, this woman who is completely down on her luck did not dump her dog, drop it at the shelter or find some reason to dispose of it.  Instead, she asked for help in getting training for the pup so she could keep it.  He’s a member of her family, after all.  She is completely ready and willing to take on her responsibility as a pet owner.  Hallelujah!!

My goal is to use the ChipIn we have created and to raise the $410 to have her gas turned back on.  I will make sure the money is paid directly to Kansas Gas Service so she will receive absolutely no cash.  Of course, donations over and above that will not be turned away.  If you would like to donate gift cards or other goods/services, please comment on this post or email me at darathrene@gmail.com and I will get in touch with you and provide an address for anything you would like to send to Linda or her family.

If you’d like to donate to help Linda and her family, please visit http://familyonfeet.chipin.com/help-a-family-get-back-on-their-feet.  For more information, please contact me directly via email at darathrene@gmail.com.

I must reiterate the fact that Linda has not asked for anything besides help with her pooch.  A close friend of mine and I would like to do this as a reminder to Linda that she is loved, appreciated and that she is not fighting this alone.