By now you know that my favorite charity is Families For A Cure.
You can check out my previous post; The “C” Word… to learn more about it.
A week before my son was to begin 4th grade we found out that his teacher was battling cancer. The news was devastating. When Noah found out he had been assigned to Miss Deck’s class he actually shouted for joy and fist pumped the air. He was thrilled. He was certain that all of the rumors were true and that Miss Deck was going to be the greatest! His enthusiasm was contagious. A couple of days later I had to break the news to him that she was fighting for her life. My little boy’s heart sank. He knew all about cancer.
We prayed. A lot. I reached out to Miss Deck a few days before Open House. I just wanted her to know that we were excited to meet her and that she could count on us to pray for her and support her throughout her journey. We met her a few days later. When she realized who I was, she hugged me. The rumors were indeed true, she was the greatest!
That was in August. Within the first month of being back to school a group of parents rallied together and put on a fundraiser for Miss Deck. It was beyond amazing. The fundraiser, “All On Deck for Deck” raised over $5,000.00 in one evening. The money was given to Miss Deck to use for expenses as she traveled to Texas with the hope of being accepted into a trial to fight her very rare form of thyroid cancer. You can check out the Facebook page here.
Miss Deck traveled to Texas in early September and returned home without great news. She was not a candidate for the trial and three new cancerous nodes were found in her neck. I remember reading the news and literally freezing. I handed to phone to my husband and left the room to cry. How was I going to tell Noah? We all truly believed that God would answer our prayers by admitting Miss Deck to this study. Now what?
We had only known Miss Deck for about a month, but we were totally smitten. In less than 30 days she had restored Noah’s love of learning and solidified a place in his heart. We needed to do something for her. Jeremy and I chatted, it was all we could think about. We kept coming back to travel. Travel is a huge part of our lives so we began thinking of how we could “gift” Miss Deck a trip. We couldn’t. She is our son’s teacher and there is a $25 cap on gifts from students. Unless the trip we would gift her was a trip to the Dollar Store, well, we were out of luck!
Thank goodness for Families For A Cure. It only took a few conversations with our friends and a plan was in place. We (the Mathis family) would nominate Miss Deck for the Experience Grant. The Board of FFAC would vote, and fingers crossed she would be chosen.
The Experience Grant through Families For A Cure….. in a nutshell is awarded to a Cancer Warrior who is currently battling the disease. The recipient works with a representative of FFAC to plan their experience.
We nominated Miss Deck and she was chosen as the recipient of the very first Experience Grant! I was lucky enough to be one of the reps from FFAC to work with her to plan her experience. She chose a weekend in NYC….right up my alley! Her experience was planned in a few short weeks thanks to the help of many folks who hate cancer and wanted to give Miss Deck a weekend to remember forever.
Click here to donate to Families For A Cure Experience Grant and make a difference in a cancer warrior’s life.
Miss Deck’s Experience will be detailed in a upcoming post. Stay tuned!