By Stephanie Fisher Living Journeys has been so supportive as my kids and I navigate the rollercoaster that happens when a family member is diagnosed …
Chloe Crawford is currently a student at Crested Butte Community School. She lost her mother, Beth Crawford, in 2019 after her long battle with breast cancer.
\”When we’re born that clock starts ticking
12 14 1970
And as we grow mistakes are made
Like building blocks creating who we are,
who were meant to be…\”
People are awestruck when Living Journeys resources start showing up; clients weep with gratitude in the recounting of the gifts received:
the food that gets delivered by professional chefs;
the rides given to and from appointments;
the group and individual counseling;
the people who show up to clean the house, deliver the mail, water the plants, or do the laundry….
My sigh of relief is audible all the way from the street on Thursday afternoons as I pull a healthy, homemade meal out of the cooler on my front porch.
This meal is there every week. It is constant. It is nourishing. I can depend on it. It makes my night doable, just at the end of the week when I am exhausted. It reminds me that five years into this cancer thing, we are still…
Michael and I are out of the shock phase of his cancer and into the living everyday with it phase. We welcomed our second baby (Reo Villanueva) into the world this past week. This picture is from that day; Michael was getting chemo in Gunnison on that morning. As he got his IV placed to deliver his life sustaining monoclonal antibody chemo treatment, across the hospital I had an IV placed to start my induction of labor. I was very emotional and I just started crying.
In those immediate days after the diagnosis, I contacted Living Journey’s. I was nervous, scared, overwhelmed and guarded when I reached out. Why did we deserve assistance from this organization, would we “qualify?” Julie emailed me back almost immediately and we had a phone conversation shortly after. I have never been in such a hard place in life and felt so welcomed by an absolute stranger. Especially at a time like that. She instantly made me feel like I/we weren’t alone and told me all the ways that LJ’s could assist. Not to mention, she gave me hope.
Living Journeys’ goal to serve everyone in Gunnison County who is impacted by cancer is an inspiration to all of us. Let’s make sure everyone impacted by cancer here in the Valley knows their community is here for them. My motivation to volunteer and contribute as much as I can to Living Journeys is personal. My wonderful wife Marty passed away from cancer in July of 2017.
\”[My husband, Joe Bosshard and I] started Elk Run 5k with hopes of bringing people to Crested Butte to run in my favorite place on the planet. We also wanted to give back to the community that we love so much. Living Journeys was the obvious choice for us, as I have been connected to them for over a decade.
In January 2019, our son Thomas (then 4 years old) began complaining of headaches and needed more help with balancing activities. When he started using a different hand to eat dinner we knew something was very wrong. After thoughtful assessment of his situation, the wonderful team at Gunnison Valley Hospital had Thomas transferred via ambulance to Children\’s Hospital Colorado, where a large mass was discovered in his brain.
Both cancer and death are really stigmatized subjects that most people have a hard time talking about, so one thing I’ve really appreciated [about Living Journeys’ Youth Group] has been having a place where talking about death is met with both support and a good dose of morbid humor. Losing a parent young can feel really isolating at times and I’m really grateful for the community Living Journeys has fostered so that no one who has been affected by cancer has to process it alone.
Who are my heroes? Living Journeys clients. Period! What can I do to help? Run Down Cancer one step at a time. How many steps? How about 100 miles-worth in McCall, Idaho on 9/12/2020? Done.
Wait. Let’s make it a rowdy Living Journeys Fundraiser. Got it. How much? Let’s dream big. Hmmm. 44. The famous football Jersey at Syracuse University worn by legendary, African-American running backs Jim Brown, Floyd Little, and Earnie Davis. $44,000? Yes.
When COVID-19 first broke out in Gunnison County, Living Journeys knew it would add tremendous stress and worry to our family, friends and neighbors in the Valley who are battling cancer. A few generous donors approached Living Journeys — they wanted to offer extra support to our clients so they could stay safe at home during this crisis. And so Boxes of Love and Dinners of Love were created!
On January 14, 2020, I was airlifted from Gunnison to Grand Junction at 28 weeks pregnant. My husband and I were mentally preparing ourselves that our baby would be born prematurely. However, once we arrived in Grand Junction, our doctors discovered that I had a very invasive form of cancer that was growing quickly due to the increased hormones and blood flow that comes from being pregnant….
In the midst of this pandemic, many of our friends and neighbors are also fighting cancer and we need your help supporting our most vulnerable community members right now. At Living Journeys, we’ve pivoted to providing individual, families and caregivers support in a new, unique way during this time: we’re delivering fresh, nutritious foods and weekly dinners to our clients. We recently received a thank you letter from a 7-year-old and wanted to share it with you.
At 13 years old, most kids in Crested Butte spend their time going to school, playing sports, going to the movies, and hanging out with friends. My 13-year-old life consisted of surgeries, chemotherapy, long car rides to Denver, and hospital stays too many to count. I had stage II ovarian cancer.
Caregivers are often forgotten in the hurry to help the cancer patient, but we often experience exhaustion, stress, trauma and loss. I certainly experienced all of those and more while caring for my wife, Marty, who passed away a few years ago from lung cancer.
Having lived in the Gunnison Valley since 2014, I have long been aware of Living Journeys\’ active role in our valley. However, it was in 2017, when I was diagnosed with Stage III endometrial cancer, that I became intimately more familiar with how they support families dealing with all types of cancer diagnosis.