Hope Wissel

Centra State Hospital Cancer Care Benefit

Happy Saturday morning Everyone –  I am up early and out the door to support an AMAZING cause – the Cancer Care Unit at Centra State Hospital in Freehold.  I will be joining lots of other vendors in the atrium today from 9AM – 5PM – partying Thirty One style.

This the first time that I have stepped into Centra State Hospital since September 11, 2011.  It is because of the care, support and dedication of the staff at the Cancer Care Unit that I am doing this event.  On that day, my aunt, Edythe Weston passed away from a 14-month long battle with cancer.  I know that it may not seem like a long time to battle this crazy disease but what she didn’t know was that she had actually been battling it for years.  See the cancer had already spread throughout her body yet she had NO symptoms.  Edythe was diagnosed with kidney cancer in July 2010 when she went to the ER for a bad cold.  She had been sick for about a week and wasn’t getting any better so she agreed to go to the ER.  X-rays showed two spots on her lungs and further testing revealed the main cancer was in her kidney.  Then began the treatments, the multiple doctor visits and the battle that would finally take her that day.  

During the months and days leading up to her death, I spent many days there visiting her, sharing memories and just reconnecting.  There were lots of great memories to share – trips to NY for shows and the circus, movies, adventures galore.  When my drug addiction came to light, Edythe was one of my biggest supporters.  She was there to encourage me, help me through the tough days and lend a hand when caring for Belinda.  Every year she faithfully sent me a card to celebrate my recovery and tell me how proud she was of me.  When Belinda was born, she was always there to help out – babysitting, creating memories for Belinda that would last her lifetime.  We drifted apart for many years – when we reconnected, we didn’t even understand the reason why – time we couldn’t get back.  Years lost of making more memories.  Edythe didn’t hold a grudge, she was just grateful that she was able to reconnect with Belinda and I.  She had a giving spirit and as her dad (my PopPop) would, she would do anything for anyone.     

Is there someone in your life that you have lost touch with?  Don’t let a minute go by that you don’t make amends – especially if you don’t even know why you lost touch.    Life is too short and too priceless to take for granted.      

Okay, so I went off track for a minute….The staff in the Cancer Care Unit were always willing to go that extra mile to help us out.  It wasn’t just a job but their passion.  On the day that Edythe went to visit the rest of the Weston clan in heaven – even her doctor came and spent several hours (on a Sunday) with us to help us along the way.  The hospital staff made sure that we were not bothered so that we could have our final moments with Edythe in peace.  

People often talk about going to NY or Phillie for treatment – stating that the doctors here are not as good.  As for me, I would go to Centra State Cancer Care Unit before traveling a long distance to seek good medical care because they are GREAT!  Stop by and support a great cause.  I know that I will be thanking the nurses and staff today for all that they did for us during our time spent in their unit.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!