Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Foundation Progress

Merry Christmas--that is important for me to say. I believe Jeff would never want us to experience anything less. I see him every morning leaving the house at dawn to go Christmas shopping before work and before the crowds. It was his favorite thing to do--even last year when he was sick. Jeff loved Christmas. I feel his presence so much. Especially when I put up all the Christmas decorations. It was like he was right there saying, " now plug that one in there and stake the inflatable with extra stakes because the wind will take it out--now don't put everything into one socket or you'll blow fuses again!" Jeff's outdoor Christmas display was famous! He loved to put up as much as our electrical system would allow. Many nights I would try to use the treadmill only to find out that the Christmas lights could not in any way be unplugged for the use of the treadmill, as that would just be crazy--the lights had to stay on no matter what! The use of the treadmill AND the lights just resulted in a total blackout--so needless to say, December was declared a work-out free zone. Sometimes I would think to myself that people are going to mistake us for the parking lot for the floats from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We had more inflatables than the kiddie pool. I tried to live up to that as well as I could this year for the girls' sake and for Jeff.

I have also been looking for ways the foundation can help cancer patients and their families. There have been some opportunities to reach out and help with travel expenses for a couple of local families. I just feel a huge need to pay forward all of the support and kindness we received. In addition to trying to get the clinics to become a reality, I feel we need to make sure everyday life is bearable for cancer patients and their families. Travel can become a huge obstacle. We really need to work on making the Angel Network more accessible in the Ozarks. There are too many private jets just sitting on the runway out at the airport. We were blessed with a private flight once in all of our travels to Houston. I can't tell you what a remarkable difference that made in Jeff's life. He was safe, he was warm, we were certain to reach our destination and he was able to have his little girls with him. Stress levels play a huge role in how successful a cancer patient is in his or her treatments. Sometimes Jeff's stress was through the roof when we had to deal with uncaring and uncooperative airlines. There were a few times he was bumped because he had paid a slightly lower "compassionate" fare and a passenger who had paid full fare took precedence. Nice.

There is much to be done for those dealing with cancer. We have to help. It is not a question of whether or not to help, but how. There is so much to be done--clinics, equipment, research and data bases, help with travel and lodging--the list goes on. Please join us and help. Officially the title of the foundation is the Jeffrey A. Melton Urgent Care Cancer Foundation. For me I call it Jeff's Hope. If you can help please send your donations to the Jeffrey A. Melton Urgent Care Cancer Foundation c/o the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, 425 E Trafficway, Springfield, Missouri 65806. Messages left on this blog will reach me or email at jeffshope2008@gmail.com.

There are plans for fundraisers in 2009. We've got to do this. The goals of this foundation are not cancer specific. Cancer doesn't care if it is in the lungs or breast or skin or brain--it just hits and hits hard. We have to help--it is our responsibility to help--how can we look the other way--how can we not help?

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