by Betsy Arnold, Godfrey, Illinois
In 1999, when my husband, Dale, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, we were devastated. After trying every medication available, doctors recommended chemotherapy. Oh no, I worried. Dale's body was already depleted by the blood disease. Would chemotherapy make it worse? Would I lose him?
Then I remembered Chemo Angels, an organization I'd heard about that matched chemotherapy patients with "angels" for support. Maybe this will help, I thought, as I registered. A week later an email arrived: An Angel for Dale is on the way! Then, Kelly Dunning emailed to say, I'm here to help. They started corresponding, and I could tell that sharing his thoughts and questions with Kelly was lifting his spirits.
With Kelly's support and his doctors care, Dale had no problem with chemotherapy- except it wasnt working. Discouraged, I emailed Kelly. I feel so helpless. And, I confided, we were hoping to renew our wedding vows on our 10th anniversary, but he is so sick...
Don't give up your dream, Kelly emailed back. Then, a few weeks before our anniversary, I came from the mailbox shaking my head. "Look at all these cards!" I said, showing Dale postmarks from around the world. "What's going on?"
Kelly! We both realized at once. She'd shared our dream with the Chemo Angels Organization! Thank you so much! I emailed as the cards kept coming and Dale's health - boosted by the outpouring of love from total strangers - started to improve.
And last July, as we renewed our vows, I felt so grateful for the Chemo Angel who'd wrapped her loving wings around my husband- and me - and lifted us out of a time of desperation to one of hope and inspiration.