Courage is not having the strength to go on,
it's going on when you don't have the strength.
Update: A HUGE thank you to those of you have donated or are considering donating! Your $10 is helping to change the life of the Westra family. If you haven't donated yet, you can still do so.
Then you can sign up for one of the amazing thank you gifts.
I will never forget when I "met" Vicky Westra. I say met very loosely because we didn't meet in person. I met Vicky on Sara Frankl's blog, or"Gitz"as we called her. Vicky was one of Sara's supporters and Sara supported Vicky. Sara passed away just over three years ago (Sept 24th) after a long and courageous battle with a horrible disease. Vicky is still here, fighting for her life.
It's easy to describe someone by the disease they have, almost as if that illness has taken over their identity. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth with my friend Vicky. As she describes herself, she is "well, with a side of cancer." What does define Vicky however is the word COURAGE. In the midst of the greatest fight of her life, Vicky's could not be more grateful and gracious and kind. She goes on, even when she doesn't have the strength. Vicky sees life as sacred, as a miracle. And through her words that flow and sing and weave pictures, she helps all of us who love her deeply to see all the unfolding blessings that surround us. The gift of every moment, the power in being fully present in our own lives.
I feel deeply blessed to call Vicky Westra my dear friend.
She is my daily reminder that "All is well," no matter what is going on. While my shorts might be tied in a knot about some trivial irritant, she is in the middle of PET scans, chemotherapy, and MRIs, in the middle of a life turned upside down and sideways.
Yet what I know for sure is that Vicky is grateful. She is real and transparent that this journey she is on is one she never expected to take, but she is soaking in every life lesson and gift that has come with having cancer.
She is fighting to stay alive, and yet she is one of the most "ALIVE" people I know. Vicky knows that she was formed
by God's hand and that He has a purpose for her life.
She knows that she is not alone and that God is with her in every step of the way in this fight for her life.
Yet I also know that no matter how courageous someone is, cancer exacts a huge cost in life-changes and those changes demand enormous sacrifices. Vicky's husband, Rick, her oldest son, Nolan, and her sweet youngest son, Colton, have also paid an enormous price. And as everyone who has fought cancer knows, cancer is expensive. It drains families financially.
It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as many of you know. It is a time of gratitude and awakening...gratitude that I don't have cancer, great gratitude that my friend Eileen is finally cancer free and feeling oh so grateful to God that my precious Bert, my wonderful husband, made it through his battle with cancer.
And now, I want to help Vicky in her fight with cancer. I want Vicky to have one more day, and one more week and one more month and year and forever with her precious family. I have been praying non-stop for my sweet friend and now I want to, with another of Vicky's friends, Peggy Sue, take action. We want to help ease some of the terrible financial strain that my dear friend faces.
To do this, Peggy Sue and I decided to set up a Fundraiser and a Fundraising blog for Vicky. We wondered what could we do or what could we make that would show our love for Vicky and be a gift to those who donated to help her.
Peggy Sue is the most amazing and gifted seamstress. She sews every stitch with love and made the most beautiful quilt and pillows ever. I put together gorgeous fall baskets, brimming over with books and CDs and DVDs and Starbucks gift cards. By making a donation to this Fund for Vicky, to help with her cancer expenses, you can designate which thank you gift you would like to be in a drawing for.
Vicky would never ask you to help her. So Peggy Sue and I are asking in her place. Would you take a few minutes and go to
the blog One More Day? Would you read about Vicky and pass on her story and the link to this blog? Click here:
We need your help...
Would you consider taking the money you might use for several espressos or money that might go for a special treat, and instead help our friend? Do you have children who might like to help with such a worthwhile cause? What a great way for them to learn about real courage by hearing Vicky's story.
If all of us just do a little, we can make miracles happen.
And if you are someone who believes in the power of prayer, and Vicky, Peggy Sue and I do, would you ask God Almighty to heal Vicky, to help her get well and to give her the strength she needs for this battle. Rick thanks you for helping his beloved wife. And Nolan and Colton thank you for helping their Mommy have one more day.
And I thank you for listening. And sweet Vicky, if you are reading this, I love you to the moon and back again!
"We are all just walking each other home." ...