This month we are hosting our Annual Charity Golf Scramble. This year's cause has directly impacted one of our own family members. Proposal Manager, Melissa Barnett participated in a Little Pink retreat last year. Melissa told us about Little Pink Houses of Hope as we were deciding on which charity to partner with. It was an easy decision from there. Melissa has been kind enough to share her story with us.
Describe your experience with Little Pink House of Hope
In January 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My first thoughts were of my children. There is nothing scarier than receiving a life-threatening diagnosis and knowing young children are depending on you!
There are a multitude of organizations that help cancer patients of all ages. However, there are barely any organizations that help a whole family. Cancer doesn’t affect just the patient – it has a profound effect on the entire family. Family dynamics change a lot with cancer. A caregiver becomes cared for. Children must face adult realities. It’s all hard to handle.
I applied for a Little Pink Houses of Hope retreat in hopes that it would provide some form of relief for my family. I applied for a retreat in South Carolina, which is home for me. I had the hope that bringing my family together, away from the doctors and appointments and daily chaos, would bring us closer.
Our retreat began on October 15, 2017 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. When we arrived, we were greeted by volunteers in bright pink shirts. The house was a big, beautiful beach house, unlike anywhere we had been before. Dinner the first evening was a community dinner where we met the other families. The volunteers made dinner special for us that first night because it was my oldest son’s 7th birthday! He got to celebrate with a special treat and even gifts!
Our week with Little Pink was everything we had hoped for and more. The kids loved riding on the golf cart and playing at the beach. The events were incredible. We participated in a scavenger hunt on the golf carts one afternoon that the whole family loved! We did mirror mazes and laser trap games, rode a giant ferris wheel, watched the sun come up over the ocean on many mornings, and so much more.
One distinct memory I have is of a morning when the survivor women had coffee together in a beachfront house. We sat in a circle, talked about our unique situations, and supported each other. My family made some lifelong friends during our week there. I connected with two other women. The network is forever, and the friendships are permanent.
When we arrived in South Carolina for our retreat, I was defeated. I was so tired… tired of being sick; tired of being in bed; tired of being a cancer patient; tired of not being able to care for my children or my home… just tired of it all. I had just finished what cancer patients refer to as “the red devil” – Adriamycin and Cytoxan Chemotherapy – and was scheduled to begin the next step of chemotherapy – Taxol – upon return to Kentucky. At that point, I had turned down the next chemo, so tired of being always sick and so weak from the chemo.
When we left South Carolina, my spirit was renewed. I felt refreshed, alive, and ready to tackle the world. That week gave me what I needed to have the strength and courage to continue with the chemo. Little Pink may have saved my life by giving me the courage I needed to continue treatment.
How do you feel knowing V-Soft is supporting Little Pink?
When I suggested Little Pink Houses of Hope, I was not sure if others would be on board. To have V-Soft choose and support Little Pink is amazing! I am so very proud to be part of the V‑Soft family, and so proud of the V-Soft family for supporting such an amazing organization. This organization changes lives! These retreats bring couples closer, give hope to worried children, and provide a time of peace for cancer patients.
The benefit to families going through a cancer diagnosis is invaluable. There is no amount of money or level of words that can express what it means to a family struggling with cancer to be able to step away from “life” for a week and just relax. The memories from the moments we shared are forever.