It was the summer of 2016 and my wife Mindy was diagnosed with Gallbladder Cancer. A close friend, who had recently undergone her own battle with Cancer, asked if she could contact Chai Lifeline on our behalf. I must admit, I had never heard of Chai Lifeline and didn’t really know how they could help my family. It certainly didn’t take me long to find out! Almost instantly they were at our house arranging for delicious meals to be delivered, signing our son Brayden up for the Shining Stars after school program and pairing Brayden and my daughter Chelsea up with a big brother and big sister. This was done all in an effort to help ease the burden on Mindy and I during her chemotherapy treatments.
Tragically, 9 months after being diagnosed, Mindy lost her battle with cancer at the age of 39. I remember Rifky visiting me at my house to see how the kids and I were doing. During our visit, Rifky explained that although Mindy was no longer with us, Chai Lifeline and their amazing programs would continue to be part of our lives.
Last August, Brayden went to Disney World with Penina’s Helping Hand. Celebrating the holidays is bittersweet without Mindy here. At Chanukah, Brayden and Chelsea received incredible presents through Chai Lifeline donors. More recently, a group of caring mothers and daughters hosted a gymnastics party for Chelsea’s 3rd birthday. I am blessed to have the loving and strong support system of family and friends. On top of that, our case manager Sarah Laszlo is constantly checking in on our family and asking if there is anything else Chai Lifeline can do.
It has been just over a year since Mindy passed away. Chai Lifeline has been with us every step of the way. They go out of their way to make my kids feel special after having gone through the loss of their mother. They have been there for me, attempting make my life a little easier any way they can. Someone once told me, Chai Lifeline is an organization you wish would never be part of you life. However, should you need them, you cannot imagine life without them. We count our blessings everyday that they are part of our lives!!