I am fortunate in that the company I work for gives every employee one day a year to use in service to a charitable organization. This year I chose Hope Hollow. This may sound familiar to many of my brother Knights since earlier this month our Community Director, Jim Shough sent an email to us all to call out a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, 10/13.
Hope Hollow is run by a married couple I know quite well. The wife, Jane, is a graduate and now long time teacher at Watterson. This couple has been deeply affected through their life by cancer. Jane herself has had two different types of cancer. First a very rare form of thyroid cancer for which the outcome is normally grim. However, in her case it has seemed to be in remission for the past few years. Last year she was dealt another blow when she was found to have breast cancer. Fortunately, due to her thyroid cancer she has regular screenings and the breast cancer was caught early. She went through surgery, radiation and chemo treatments and has been clean of the breast cancer since. I fully understand that through suffering we can grow, and that our attitude and trust in God is paramount to how we deal with horrible circumstances. It is not easy to see one you love go through any type of pain. Sometimes more so for us as men when a family member is faced with such difficult situations. We as men want to fix it. It is difficult for us to first of all understand it is out of our control, and second of all to accept that fact. It is solely in the hands of God. For ourselves it is vitally important that we turn to God in these times. It is even more important for the family member to see evidence that we are turning to God for help, for them. I know at times I have asked God to let me take the pain of another family member. Though it is good that we would be so willing it is important that we understand it is not our pain for a purpose. Perhaps we in this life will never know the purpose, but we must remember, God does. Trust Him.
Getting back to Hope Hollow. The concept is similar to the Ronald McDonald house except it is a private residence. The concept is to provide a place for patients and family members to stay free of cost when they are in town for cancer treatments. It targets those who do not have the means to stay anywhere else but is flexible in its guidelines. Jane and her husband Kevin feel that despite having been so affected by cancer in their lives they know they are also quite fortunate. To watch them or to be a part of their mission you would never guess Jane has been through what she has. She is full of energy and one can see the love she and Kevin holds for humanity in everything they do. They are getting close to opening the house they bought for this purpose and the ensuing refurbishing. Despite not yet opening they already have helped at least two families that I know of to find lodging and food without cost to the families. Their objective is to remove the worry, expense and strife a family may face in paying for arrangements often in an unfamiliar city and to give them a peaceful and comfortable place to stay when they have so much more important things weighing on their mind. Jane and Kevin will tell you their mission has been a journey, a journey greater than themselves. To hear their story and how so many people have joined along the way is truly miraculous in itself. It is truly a message of hope in humanity. I would like to ask a favor. Since October is the month for the Rosary I ask that each of us at least once say a Rosary dedicated to those who have, or who are giving support to those affected by, cancer.
Pat Rosmarin, Lecturer