I can't say enough great things about PAG and the support our family received during our daughter, Juliet's cancer treatment. Juliet was diagnosed with leukemia at age 5 and was in treatment for over two and half years. During that time, our family had ups and down--the journey through cancer is long and terrifying. The surprise gifts and thoughtful notes we received from PAG were uplifting in times when we needed a boost. We are forever grateful to PAG!"
Gina | Juliet's Mother
In April 2006, our daughter Cheryl Lee Wilson Grace was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. She never smoked. It was discovered when her family physician ordered an MRI of her brain because she was experiencing headaches and numbness and tingling in her legs but nothing that the average pain reliever couldn’t handle. The MRI results were a complete shock and devastating. Our beautiful Cheryl had a tennis ball sized tumor in the frontal lobe of her brain which required immediate surgery. No one was prepared for this diagnosis or the prognosis.
Cheryl and her husband Ryan had two beautiful little girls, Isabelle age 3 and Abigail age 2. She was a successful businesswoman and was an executive with a large corporation. They had a beautiful home in Mountain Lakes. They had so many wonderful friends and a loving family most of whom lived nearby.
A diagnosis like this – the thought of losing a child, a sister, a cousin or a friend – left everyone in her family, her work colleagues, her friends and the community devastated. No one is prepared for just how overwhelming such a life event as this can be.
But life must go on. There are children to feed, bathe, nourish and love; there are meals to prepare, a big house to clean. There’s so much to do and so many things to think about. Throughout, it was Cheryl’s priority to ensure that her children continue to lead as normal a life as possible.
It was difficult because Cheryl also needed a lot of care. There were the endless chemotherapy and radiation treatments, lung surgery and more brain surgeries to come. Recovery times were long and difficult. There were endless trips to the oncologist, the radiation oncologist and the surgeons. It was overwhelming.
We were so fortunate and blessed by the outpouring of support, assistance and help that came from far and wide. A network of helpers was organized. Friends, and people we didn’t even know, signed up to help by cooking meals or buying dinners at local restaurants and having them delivered. A roster was set up to take the children to nursery school and for play groups, and as they grew older, to school, soccer practice and games, swimming classes, gymnastics and art and dancing classes.
It was heartwarming that so many people could take so much time out of their busy and active lives to help this family get through nearly six years of trauma, suffering, heartbreak AND joy, laughter, love and humor.
It’s not possible to put into words how thankful we are for these people who came into our lives and helped us with endless acts of kindness and giving. Some spent hours every week helping and supporting and others just did something once or twice that was thoughtful and kind because they wanted to help in some small way.
When Cheryl’s friends told us that they wanted to establish the Amazing Grace Foundation to do for others just what they did to help Cheryl and her family, it was an incredible gift to us and to Cheryl’s memory.
Even without children, a diagnosis such as this or a life crisis is so completely overwheming to both the patient and the caregiver. Receiving support from people who care is a remarkable experience. We know how honored Cheryl would be to know that her wonderful friends want to give that same support to others who need help and assistance for a life threatening disease or a crisis."