Cancer turns life upside down; for individuals and their loved ones, life becomes overwhelmed with medical care. Instead of working, socializing, and enjoying daily routines, days are suddenly filled with doctor appointments, tests, surgical procedures, and treatments. Even simple appointments or medical tests can swallow up a day. In addition, the lives of spouses, friends, and family- the patient’s support group- are disrupted. Whether it is offering emotional support, attempting to understand insurance coverage, or coordinating appointments and navigating the medical system, providing support is practically a full time job!
To top it off we live in Kittitas County, which means that for virtually any cancer related medical care, patients must drive to Yakima or Seattle. For chemotherapy, radiation therapy or other treatments given at regular intervals, the necessary travel time can be a heavy burden on individuals and families. People with cancer – and those who support them- need help. They need time, monetary support, and importantly, emotional support.
The silver lining is that we live in Kittitas County, a place where people are exceptional at caring for one another. There is a generosity of spirit here that is unique, and it is from this sense of caring and generosity that a grass-roots organization called “The Gretchen Weller Foundation” was formed in 2015. Gretchen Weller is a mother of three who was diagnosed with breast cancer while still breast feeding her youngest child. She and her family have responded to cancer by choosing to “live life intentionally,” which she describes as “loving big”: living and loving the best she can, every day.
Inspired by Gretchen, Cathie Day and a group of dedicated individuals created The Gretchen Weller Foundation, whose mission is to support patients and families during their journey with cancer: “When one family member has cancer, everyone in the household becomes affected by that struggle. Besides medical expenses, cancer is costly in many ways. Families need transportation, meals out, car maintenance and a host of other expenses. The Gretchen Weller Foundation helps to bridge some of these gaps.”
If you know of a friend or family member with cancer, help ease their burden by connecting them with The Gretchen Weller Foundation. In addition, donating to the Gretchen Weller Foundation is a great way to support fellow residents of Kittitas County in their journey with cancer. One hundred percent of donations go directly to Kittitas County patients. To learn more, visit their website at https://gretchenwellerfoundation.com/, or listen to an inspiring interview with Gretchen and Cathie Day at https://soundcloud.com/eburgradio-org/dr-john-36-gretchen-weller-foundation?in=eburgradio-org/sets/dr-johns-radio-show.