Stories

Sydney Mecham is the oldest in her family. She has 2 little brothers, Ian and Owen and a 4 month old baby sister, Ava. She is very loving and nurturing and definitely comes up with the best things to do on a rainy day. She is very creative like her dad, Justin, and quite social, like her mom, Barbi. She loves animals! Sydney is super fun and has a great sense of humor. She loves to be crafty and is very good at it! She is very artistic and has amazing penmanship. She loves hanging out with friends, shopping, listening to music and singing along. She has 43 first cousins and loves family gatherings. She is quite the fashionista! She is a 6th grader. Her favorite subject depends on the teacher and who happens to be in her class! She is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After not feeling well for a couple of months, Sydney was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins, Anaplastic large cell Lymphoma at the end of October 2012. Sydney has struggled with anxiety and one of her biggest fear was of being sick and hospitalized. This cancer diagnosis was her worst nightmare yet has become a blessing to help her overcome her fear and anxiety. She spent 10 days at Primary Children’s Hospital, had multiple scans and tests, surgeries, pokes, prods and met hundreds of doctors, nurses and specialists of all kinds. She had chemo therapy once a week for the first 6 weeks and has now moved to chemo every 3 weeks. All of her treatments are outpatient at PCMC. She loves her doctors and they definitely have fallen for her beautiful smile and fun personality. If all goes as planned, she will be done with treatment October 2013. Through the process she has met wonderful people, those going through similar trials and all the many people that have been so supportive to her.  Sydney is an amazing young woman with such a strong spirit. She is excited to be able to help other children who are struggling with cancer and make their journey a little less scary. Her family is so very proud of her and the wonderful example she is setting for all those around her. Go Team Sydney!!

Barbi & Justin Mecham

 

Hi! My name is Kaleb Kunz and I am a State Farm agent in Logan.  Do you ever wonder where the  money you donate goes?  I did.  I was donating on a monthly basis to CVFH with the convenience of automatic withdrawal. I had a client who had an insurance policy through my office.  I was notified that their policy had lapsed due to insufficient funds.  My secretary made several phone calls before we found out they were having to travel long distances to get cancer treatment.  It had been so long that the policy had to be reissued. Right away CVFH showed up and payed that first payment. At that time I doubled the amount I was donating monthly because I personally saw the way CVFH worked. A few months later there were insufficient funds again and the next day Roger Welsh from CVFH showed up at our office with a check in hand to keep this young family insured on the road while they traveled to treatment.  Because of this experience my office manager and secretary both began donating to CVFH.  I sent out an email telling the other agents in the area my personal experience and found out some of them were also donating monthly.  I wanted to share my experience with you of the trust I gained for this organization.  A member of the CVFH board pays the bills directly. That increased my peace of mind about how the funds I donate are used and protected and I wanted to share my experience with you.

Kaleb Kunz, State Farm

 

John and I would like to express our deepest, heartfelt gratitude to you and Tyler and all those who donate their time and means to benefit the lives of those who are in need do to the catastrophic illness we call cancer. This is our second bout with liver cancer in John. Just a few short months after returning to work, just when we felt we could get back on our feet, John got sick again. This time it was a 10 hour surgery, the cancer had returned and the doctor spent 4 hours picking the tumor off the artery into the liver. He has had several setbacks since this surgery. We ended up a second time at Salt Lake Regional, by ambulance,  with an anuerysm, septicemia, 3 super-bug infections and severe malnurishment caused by a fistula that formed in the liver. We met with Tyler and he was so kind and unjudgemental to us. He listened to our story intently, asked all the right questions about our finances and then offered help. He didn’t make us feel like we were begging, like we were unwilling to help ourselves. It was truly a humbling experience. Cache Valley for Hope has been helping us for many months now. they have provided us with gas cards from Smiths that have provided the means to get us back and forth from his doctor visits and hopital stays as well. The emotional help they have given us through their kindness and encouragement is just as needed as the monetary help. Our family cannot adequately express our gratitude and unending thanks to all of you for the peace of mind you have blessed us with. You cannot put a price tag on someone’s life or his peace of mind. Taking the worry of losing our home off our shoulders is no small feat. Providing a way to get where we need to be is not insignificant. It is restoring hope and confidence to a family that faces daily the uncertainties of life that is already fragile. Thank You so much for all you do, for giving of yourselves without thought of personal gain, for giving us hope, peace of mind, and security at a time when we cannot provide it for ourselves. We are truely blessed. Our love and hearts go out to all of you and your families. May you also be blessed with the peace and joy that you have so unselfishly given us.

Thank You. Thank You. John and Charlene Van Duren

 

So to tell you a little bit about our family…I’m 35, my wife is 32, our oldest son is 9, then another son is 5, and our littlest boy is 2. Maria had been studying Linguistics and Business at Utah State University, until the cancer interrupted her plan. My wife was diagnosed with cancer in July of 2012 after she noticed a couple of unusual lumps during a self-exam. Seeing that she was only 31 at the time with a baby at home, we didn’t think much of it but thought it wise to check it out because it was painful. The results came back notifying us of the stage 2B Triple Negative Breast Cancer that was spreading fast.  In terms of the cancer, we put our trust in the doctors and professionals at Intermountain Health Care and the Cancer Center here in Logan.  Unfortunately the hours for my job were cut in half and I was unable to accept additional work because I had to be both the father and mother, the caregiver for Maria, the errand person, the responsible, supportive adult who helped Maria during her doctor visits, surgeries, and tri-weekly treatments and doctor visits, the one who took care of the household duties, and the breadwinner and with three children, it is impossible to do alone.  However, thank you to the prayers of countless people, thank you to our church family, thank you to family members near and far, thank you to co-workers, thank you to great organizations like Cache Valley for Hope, thank you for fantastic neighbors and friends as well as community members, and thanks to God, we are faring well. As of today, Maria is alive and recovering from her chemotherapy treatments, preparing for 2 months of radiation treatments, our bills are paid to the minimum; we have food to eat, a shelter over our heads, gas in the tank, a part-time job and applications for employment in many places, and a promising future. We were driving a lot for my appointments, and we were tight on money but Cache Valley for Hope helped us by giving us gift cards to Smith. We were able to buy gas there that enabled us to go to work, run errands, go to all of the doctor appointments, and make it to church.  We often feel the care, concern, and support from your excellent foundation. I can’t imagine going through this atrocious trial alone or without such an extensive support system as the one we’ve experienced here in Cache Valley. We are utmost appreciative for Cache Valley for Hope’s crucial role in our well-being and journey through cancer.

Maria and Avery Jones

We are blessed to be associated with the Cache Valley for Hope Cancer Foundation. Our daughter Kelsey was diagnosed with cancer in both eyes called Retinoblastoma.  She was 8 months old at the time of diagnosis. Her tumor situation was quickly determined to be more advanced than what could be treated in Utah. We were referred to expert Retinoblastoma doctors in Philadelphia. We have testing in Salt Lake City requiring multiple visits then  fly and stay several days every few months for treatment in Philadelphia. It has created a major financial burden. Cache Valley for Hope has stepped up and eased the financial stress that Cancer has forced on us. They have helped with medical debt we put on our credit cards, car and even mortgage payments.  Our family has been immensely blessed to have the Cache Valley for Hope Foundation watch over and lift us up emotionally and financially!Sincerely,
Krissy and Jason Kartchner
Cache Valley For Hope has touched us in more ways than I could ever put into words. Being diagnosed with cancer is the scariest, most difficult thing my family has ever gone through. CVFH has done so much to give us peace of mind during this awful time. They not only offered to help financially but they also mailed off the payments and had it all taken care of. By not having to worry about bills and trying to get them sent off I was able to focus on my surgeries and family. It’s hard enough trying to figure where to get the money for the bills let alone mail them off when you’re so worried about everything else. I could not thank CVFH enough for easing those burdens for us. They worked to organize other donors who provided my kids with a wonderful Christmas. I never once had to worry about going out shopping while I was recovering from surgery, or even wrapping presents. We were so humbled and thankful for the kindness that they showed in making sure my kids felt special this Christmas. They delivered the presents to our door dressed as Elves and my kids are still talking about it. I just really appreciate how much thought was put into it. You could tell that they really cared and it wasn’t just something to check off their list. Asking for help is not something anyone ever wants to do and can be embarrassing. Roger and the others that we have dealt with, have been so compassionate and kind that we walk away feeling more thankful and humbled than embarrassed. The first time I spoke with Roger I got off the phone and felt so uplifted. I felt like I had people in my corner who were willing to fight this fight with us. I do not know what we would have done had it not been for their willingness to help. I am so extremely thankful for them and will make every effort in the future to make sure people know how amazing their Foundation is. CVFH, I hope you know just how grateful the Dixon Family is to have moved back to Logan so we could be a part of your foundation. Cancer is such a horrible thing, but you guys are the bright spot in all of it.
Thank you so, so much. Danny and Brittany Dixon

 

Thank you for the chance to tell you what a wonderful difference CVFH has made in the life of my son, Kit, and our family.  Kit was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma when he was 13 years old.  After several surgeries and a year of interferon therapy, his cancer went into remission.  He was free of cancer for 5 years, and went on a mission to the Scotland, Ireland mission.  He had served for 5 months when he was incapacitated by pain, was taken to the hospital, then sent home when it was determined his cancer had returned.  He now has stage 4 melanoma,  has had two more surgeries, and is taking very strong medication that is very debilitating. Cache Valley For Hope has helped our family to meet our bills, and taken the worry out of our budget.  We are very grateful for the help we have received from CVFH, as it has lighted the financial burden we were under.  This not only reduced the financial stress, but also the feeling that there are others out there that are pulling for us, and know what we are going through. Thanks again.

 The Johnson Family

Jake loves football and basketball!  In February of 2012 he and some of his friends were in a competitive basketball league.  Towards the end of the tournament as he was playing one Saturday he went up for a rebound and came down on someone’s foot, twisting his ankle but he continued to play until the end of the game. A couple of weeks went by and I noticed him walking without shoes and socks and his ankle was still very swollen and red and now there was a Lump just above his left ankle.   I told him something was not right and I was going to schedule him an appointment at the doctors to get some X-rays.   March 9th was the appointment with Dr. Odell.  He told us this was not an injury from playing basketball. He wanted to consult with the orthopedic surgeon next to him. The next day I took Jake to the Cache Valley Hospital for some labs.  Later that day I received a phone call from Dr Odell’s office and they said that they had referred us to Dr Steven Scott in Murray who was an orthopedic oncologist.  I had no idea what an oncologist was.  We were to be there on Monday the 12th.    Still not getting the seriousness of the problem Jake and I, Britton and Kenna headed down to Murray on Monday morning.  We were sitting Dr. Scott’s office just goofing off and trying to decided were we we’re going to have lunch when Dr. Scott came in with Jakes X-rays.  He was all serious and Jake was sitting on the bed flipping his pencil doing his calculus homework when Dr Scott took his pencil and set it down and said “Son I need you to listen. This is possibly life threatening.”  He began to talk about his X-rays and from that point on things just froze.  Dr. Scott left the room to have his nurse schedule a biopsy and Britton and Kenna left to go the bathroom.  I took out my phone and called my husband and told Aaron that the doctor is 99% sure that Jake has cancer, osteosarcoma a very aggressive bone cancer. We need to act quickly.  We had to be at LDS hospital for a biopsy the next morning at 7 am.  And from there he had an MRI and full body CT scan.  By the next week we were referred to Primary Children’s Hospital to Dr. Jenny Wright.  She explained that osteosarcoma is a pediatric cancer and the chemo regimen is intense and all the infusions would be inpatient stays.  Jake started chemo and had his port placed on March 29th 2012.    From here it has just been a whirl wind of emotion. To add to the chemo treatment Jake had an amputation of his left leg just below the knee on July 29th.  The loss of time at work for both my husband and I resulted in a significant loss of income.  Without the kindness of the Cache Valley for Hope Foundation and the generous donors having compassion for our family we would have lost our home.  My heart is full of emotion towards the kindness and tender mercies we have received.  The stress of having a child with cancer and an amputation is great and still I find my self asking if this is real. Because of the help we have received from Roger and the encouraging text and emails we know that there are people that care and there is still kindness in this craziness. I have been struggling for quite some time now trying to get into the holiday spirit with having to spend so much time at the hospital.  One of the sweetest surprises that stands out in my mind because it brings such joy to our home and the Christmas spirit is the beautifully decorated Christmas tree we received.  One of the board members came to my home about a month ago and spent a couple hours of their very precious time decorating a beautiful 7 foot tree that was donated to the CVFH from a very generous donor.  We haven’t had a new tree for over 12 years so ours was very worn, so you could imagine my delight.  As they added each layer of decoration on the tree it just opened this feeling of giving and love.  It just amazed me what was created with all the beautiful decorations donated from wonderful people from around the valley.  I never thought I would ever have such a beautiful tree in my home. The thing that touches my heart so much is that not one of the donors knows our family.  It amazes me that someone would help us even in this small degree not knowing that this was a huge thing for us.  I am so grateful that we have such great people around us that have both touch our hearts and lifted our spirits.  Thank you Cache Valley for Hope and thanks to each of you for donating.

The Griggs Family

 

In April of 2010, My Husband  was diagnosed with Melanoma after he had a mole removed from his forearm. After a couple of months and a couple of surgery’s later, 1 to remove more of where the mole had been and  to test 3 of his lymph nodes  and the 2nd to have a total  lymphectomy  of his right arm pit after 2 of the 3 lymph nodes had small traces of Melanoma in them, he was pronounced NED (no evidence of disease). Never in our dream’s did we think it would come back, but last October He was feeling pain in his right abdominal side. We took him to the doctor to find out the very bad news, His Melanoma was back and at stage 4. He had tumors throughout his body but mainly on his liver. We went down to the Huntsman Cancer Institute In Salt Lake only to confirm our fears. They admitted him that day for 5 rounds of bio-chemo and 15 rounds of radiation. We were driving a lot. We were a young Married couple with a 2 year old girl, living pay check to pay check. How in the world where we going to pay for this?! My Mom had mentioned to me about Roger and the Cache Valley for Hope Foundation. I along with my family got in contact with him. He was so kind and through his foundation was  able and willing to pay some bill’s for us. Not only that but he took care of it himself which was a huge load and burden off our minds. I was able to take the time that would have been spent on paying bills and  use it for the needs of my family. It’s nice to know that our little valley has a foundation that is meant to help the people in it. Roger also sends out e-mails all the time making sure that our need’s are met and that we have the support we need. I sure appreciate that. My husband fought a very hard valiant fight tell his time on earth was up. He had to go on August 6th 2012. We were very blessed to be able to get life insurance before he passed away. With some of that money I can think of no better place that I would want that to go then to this foundation. I know my husband wouldn’t want it any other way. I hope that you will find it in your hearts to do the same! Even it’s a little bit, it will go a long way. Thank you Roger and your committee for starting this foundation. We are blessed to have you in our lives!

Melanie

 

We are the Bennetts, and this is our little boy Ryker. Ryker is almost 3 years old and has a rare genetic tumor disease, Neurofibromatosis. We have been tracking Ryker’s condition since he was 4 months old after his first MRI. When we first realized how much Ryker’s diagnosis was going to permanently affect his life it was devastating. Ryker’s health future was unknown and we feared how he would handle it. Ryker just finished one year of two different types of chemotherapy for two optic nerve tumors. It was amazing progress that we never though we could complete. It is still overwhelming what we may have to face in the future, but we have had lots of help and support from friends and family. It was so amazing that a complete stranger, Roger Welsh and Cache Valley for Hope, was there to help us. They were able to help relieve an extra financial burden from our shoulders, and really showed they were there for us emotionally as well.  It made us feel supported by a bigger cause and give us a boost to face our challenges. Ryker has gone through so much at such a young age, and has taught us so much. Ryker is truly the happiest and strongest little boy there is. Not only did Roger reach out to us as parents, but a good friend of his went out of their way to bring Ryker a special present to make him feel special and bring a smile to his face. Cache Valley for hope helped in more ways than they could realize. When so many things seem to be against you, its re-assuring to find someone who can relate and wants to help. A big Thanks to Cache Valley for Hope and Roger and his family and friends for such an amazing foundation, and helping lighten our load and the load of other families. Thank you!

Sarah Bennett

I discovered that you paid bills for us again!! How can we ever thank you for all you have done!!! Thank you so much! I have Stage Four Breast Cancer.  I have been having chemotherapy for over 6 years now.  I have been in the hospital once for an infection and just last year for congestive heart failure.  I have more challenges with my health as we continue to fight to get well.  I am very grateful for each day I am still alive.  One day as I was waiting for my turn to have chemotherapy I noticed a flier about The Cache Valley for Hope Foundation that had just been organized.  I took it home and showed my husband.  We thought about their mission and goals.  We got on the website and read about those who were organizing this group.  Finally my husband decided to nominate me to see if we could get some help.

The first thing that Cache Valley for Hope did for us was put a new tile floor and a higher toilet in our bathroom.  That made it so much easier for me in the bathroom.  They gave us gift cards from Smith’s that helped us with gas, groceries, and a few things that we wanted to get for Christmas.  Then they had food from Smith’s brought to our home for a Christmas dinner.  They brought much more than enough for a meal.  It was more like a shopping cart full of a variety of food for us to use.  We were able to pay more on our medical bills because we didn’t need to pay for gas and groceries for a month.  It was such a relief to know that there is that kind of help available here in our valley. We really appreciate all that was done for us by the Cache Valley for Hope Cancer Foundation.  We also are grateful for the many people who have donated to this foundation for the purpose of helping families who are dealing with cancer and the financial concerns that they have to deal with. Thank you again.

Fred and Brenda

 

Almost two years ago we were blessed with boy/girl twin babies. Bree was able to feed them exclusively with breast milk and just after they turned one, found what she thought was a clogged milk duct. After this lump did not go away we decided to get it checked out. Our worst fears were realized when we found out she had breast cancer on Dec. 20th, 2011. She had a skin-sparing mastectomy in January 2012 followed by 4 months of high dose chemotherapy. She is scheduled for her final reconstruction on August 1st. This came at a very difficult time for us as Bree is our primary household provider. Our prayers were answered when Longhurst Mortgage sponsored a golf tournament and Cache Valley For Hope was able to mitigate the funds that we needed to cover our ever growing stack of bills. Cache Valley For Hope has been by our side the whole way with weekly emails and texts just checking in. They have made certain that we were being cared for financially and emotionally throughout our journey. We are looking forward to sharing our story with other cancer families in need, and being involved in bringing this support to our local community throughout Cache Valley.

Travis and Bree Allred

 

Your encouragement to us and the support of the Cache Valley for Hope Cancer Foundation has meant everything to us these past few months!  The diagnosis of cancer itself can become completely debilitating to a family, let alone the day-to-day living with the treatment and cure of it.  Without the generous support of your foundation, our challenges would have been insurmountable.  The foundations generosity has made it possible for the lives of our four children as well as our own as parents to continue with much less financial stress than we would have otherwise realized.  The hope and healing of cancer comes about in a more positive way when financial pressures are reduced in the process.  We would like to thank you and your compassionate donors for the opportunity you have given us to have HOPE and to heal in a positive and faithful way which without your financial assistance would not have been possible.  Now that we have experienced the love and support from unknown angel donors in troubled times,  it is our goal to be able to participate with other faithful contributors of the foundation in the future.

Barbara and Paul Danielson and family

 

We were very blessed to be contacted by Cache Valley for Hope.  Soon after our son was diagnosed Roger Welsh called us to see if his organization could help.  I was so amazed and grateful as this was a time of shock, disbelief and stress.  It is devastating to hear the words from a doctor that your child has a year to live.  The world seemed to crash down upon me.  Then to have to face the financial mountain as well was really too much to bear.  I truly believe that Roger and his colleagues are inspired.  I have such faith that our prayers are answered and they come often in the form of our fellow men.  This organization gave us financial help to keep our heads above the tide of bills as well as providing concern and true compassion. There are no words that can ever truly express the gratitude we feel for what they have done, nor could we ever repay them.  Because of their help we have been able to put our son on an alternative treatment plan that has shown great promise.  You could never put a price on the life of your child.  I hope that I can pay forward the good will that we have received.  It is also my hope that people everywhere will realize that we all need each other and that we never know when disaster may strike someone we love.  There is no better feeling that to know you have made a life changing or lifesaving action that will impact someone not only in this life but for all time. My only consolation is that I know the people organizing Cache Valley for Hope will be rewarded some day for all they have done. Most Sincerely,

Tracie Lockhart

 

 

We would like to thank Cache Valley for Hope for assisting our family through a very difficult time.As Christmas approached, we were so busy taking care of our daughter that there just wasn’t time to do a lot of Christmas shopping. The gifts provided to each of our children by the Santa for Hope program were very thoughtful and perfect in making Christmas very memorable and happy.It is hard to know who to pay first when the medical bills start to arrive. We had a credit card bill that was causing some stress. Cache Valley for Hope offered to pay the credit card bill and remove that burden so that we could focus our attention elsewhere. It was a great relief that they could take care of this for us!

Shortly after the new year, we received a call from a local window washer. Cache Valley for Hope had enlisted his services to wash all the windows in our home inside and out. It might seem like a small thing but it lifted our spirits greatly to have clean windows to look out of at a time when we were required to spend almost all of our time inside the house attending to our daughter. Thanks again!

Bob and Elise Berry

Thanks again to all of you for your extraordinary kindess!