A cancer diagnosis is not something anyone ever “expects.” Instead, it comes out of nowhere and smacks you upside the head with a previously inconceivable force. Life as you knew it is over. The only option is to start adjusting – minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, to the new reality of being a cancer survivor.
Once that initial shock subsides, a weird sense of isolation starts to creep in, like no one else in the world could possibly know what it’s like. Truthfully, no one else can fully know, but we’ve been fortunate to discover that there are lots and lots and lots of wonderful people who are willing to at least try. Most of them are people we know well and love dearly. Others are strangers whose kindness flows to us as if by osmosis. Occasionally, there’s a magical melding of the two – and that’s how we came to be blessed by the Angel Squad.
We’ve known Casey Radermacher and his family for years, since they first arrived in Arizona from Minnesota when Casey was starting college. Until almost a year ago, though, we hadn’t had the opportunity to meet Casey’s beautiful new wife, Kinslee. Unbeknownst to us, when Casey and Kinslee learned about the Lymphomathon last year, they decided to approach their blended brood of seven precious children to discuss how they might contribute to finding a cure for Peter’s lymphoma. Kinslee and the kids had never met Peter, but they enthusiastically agreed to take up the cause. With a homemade sign and a table outside their local Walmart store, Casey, Kinslee, and their kids took donations from an even broader circle of strangers whose generosity flowed through this amazing family to TEAM PETER, to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and into the hands of cutting-edge researchers and compassionate care providers.
The story of the Radermachers and the Angel Squad was published this month in a beautiful article written by Holly Walter for “Inside Arrowhead” magazine. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face – and it might even prompt an idea or two of your own.