Ringing the bell with the help of family and friends
I started my career as an accountant out of college, and I always joined different charities’ finance committees as a way to give back. When I moved back to Lewes, my friends invited me to Beebe events, and I began to understand how important it was for me to get more involved and help as a volunteer at Beebe. Currently, I serve on the finance committees for the Beebe Healthcare and the Beebe Medical Foundation boards. I am also a member of the Beebe Medical Foundation’s Board of Ambassadors, but Beebe has become more than just a volunteer opportunity for me.
One year ago, my husband Tim and I were walking into Tunnell Cancer Center to meet with a hematologist to try to get some answers about my recent bloodwork. I was immediately sent for more bloodwork and a CT scan, and within four hours of walking into that 8 a.m. appointment, I received that phone call asking both of us to come back to the cancer center.
Although I was impressed with the speed with which Beebe diagnosed me, I was not prepared to hear “you have lymphoma” or to see the scan showing large masses in my chest as well as all the ones in my neck. No matter how much we prepare, hearing that you have cancer changes your life in an instant. I couldn’t believe it. Not me. I am too “healthy” to have cancer.
During my time receiving treatments, I was blessed with excellent care from the nurses at Tunnell Cancer Center with Beebe Oncology Services. I was also blessed with a community of supportive friends and my family, but I was certainly put to the test physically and mentally in ways I can’t explain. This last year has also been a huge year for reflection and learning.
So, while I could say that the last year was the worst of my life, as many times I thought it was, it may have also been one of the best for who I am now. I am looking forward to yet another year in this life to continue to learn and to be strong. I’m looking forward to seeing who I become in this year, and I’m looking forward to hopefully never having to fight this battle again!
On my final treatment, and the day I rang the bell at Tunnell, I was surprised by dozens of family members, co-workers and friends cheering me on. Cancer is much more manageable to navigate when community supporters and caregivers take the journey with us.
My calling now is to help and inspire other cancer patients. I will share my story Sunday, June 4, at the 20th Annual Miracle Mile walk. This special event celebrates the unique connections among cancer survivors and their caregivers. I’ll be there with joy in my heart to remind the attendees that every day is a gift — don’t waste it! Live. Learn. Embrace. And always have strength! Please join me and Beebe’s Oncology Services for this celebration.
Miracle Mile 2023 will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., Sunday, June 4, at the Specialty Surgical Hospital on Beebe’s Rehoboth Health Campus, 19161 Healthy Way, Rehoboth Beach. The event also provides the community an opportunity to make a gift to support Beebe Healthcare’s Cancer Patient Special Needs Fund. Whether or not you are able to attend June 4, you can assist others in their cancer journey by donating to this important fund.
The Cancer Patient Special Needs Fund assists Beebe’s oncology patients who have limited financial resources and need help covering emergent expenses such as prescriptions, food, essential living expenses and transportation. A full 100% of your donation to the Cancer Patient Special Needs Fund goes directly to qualifying patients, helping them address barriers to care and focus on healing. Go to beebehealthcare.org/donate.
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at email@example.com.