Originally posted by Sarah DeBord as Putting the DO in DOnate at ColonCancerChick.com.
Not that long ago, through the very organization we are running the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K with in May, Kyle received a caregiver grant through the Tony Snow and Betty Jo Caregivers Network. It wasn’t some vast fortune meant to reward him for all the shockingly graphic details I gave him regarding my trips to the bathroom during full blown chemo.
It was a small grant meant to take care of the caregiver. So much of the focus with cancer (or any chronic illness) is on the patient, and overlooked is the person picking up the slack. The one driving to all the appointments, sitting in an infusion room
taking pictures of their Benadryl’d up wife drooling all over the recliner for hours on end, cutting work short to pick up kids, getting up in the middle of the night to get the puke bucket and sacrificing golf games on Saturday so I can lay in bed uninterrupted watching Netflix. The caregiver gives and gives and gives, yet the patient gets all the glory and attention.
I submitted a nomination for Kyle, not really to reward him with a game of golf on some overpriced PGA course, but to help alleviate some of the “burden” of child care cost. As I lay around cuddling my infusion pump in the recliner, he’s out there being our sole bacon maker. I, in turn, drop some of that bacon off with a sitter so that I can go to my infusions alone. As much as the infusion room could use that sweet love that radiates from Lachlan, it’s just not the best place for him to hang out.
It sounds simple, but in my mind I thought it would be nice if I could take a little bit of that financial burden off of him by nominating him for this grant.
And guess what? He got it. The first 6 treatments of this new year are covered.
And how do grants like this come about? For all the countless organizations that host races, sell t-shirts, auction off bachelors, get 10% of the profits from a night at a restaurant, have galas, jog-a-thons and host bake sales; this is their final product. I’m sure every person reading this has participated in some grassroots fundraiser at some point, but do you ever wonder about that end result? Did your $10 for that raffle ticket really make a difference?
Well here we are; the very people that benefit. So when I formed Team Colon Cancer Chick and we participate in this race (and future athletic endeavors), I am thinking of those little ways that every donated dollar can make a big difference. It’s not going in the giant, ambiguous pot of cancer research; it’s going right here where I live, to possibly help the very people that I will see on the morning of that race, or in the infusion chair next to me the following day.
So if you blindly give to a cause out of the pure goodness of your heart, look at us as the stand-in poster kids of that donation. Every dollar really does make a difference to those who may not even want to admit there is a need. And to be on the receiving end makes you want to be on the giving end so much more. What goes around really does come around in the end.
Editor’s Note: We had the good fortune of meeting Sarah DeBord and husband Kyle Woody at this week’s Survivor/Caregiver dinner in Minneapolis. While we were talking, I had no idea that Kyle had been selected as a grant recipient from the Tony Snow and Betty Jo Caregiver Fund. After the dinner I started reading Sarah’s blog, ColonCancerChick.com, she’s a colon cancer suvvior blogging her experiences. She’s also a fantastic writer.