Healing Moments! October 10, 2010
We want the blog to be a spot where those who are hurting and those who are helping to relieve the hurt can go to read about inspiring moments; moments that can help heal a broken heart. If you have any stories that you would like to share or comments that you would like posted, please emails us at [email protected]
Meeting Senator Hatch Feb. 25th 2012
Sometimes the sun shines through the rain filled clouds. Sometimes miracles happen and sometimes Senator Orrin Hatch is conducting a town hall meeting in the same venue as an ‘Anything for a Friend’ event!
Imagine my joyful surprise as I drove to the Shepard Union Building at Weber State University to set up for Kash Maughan’s event and realized that the man responsible for our non-profit status would be just one floor above us. I took fresh courage and Wendy DiGiacomo and headed up to the 4th floor and explained to the Hatch staffers that I needed to speak to Orrin Hatch because I needed to thank him. They blinked in surprise and curiosity and asked us to explain. When I told them that Senator Hatch was responsible for the non-profit status of ‘Anything for a Friend’ and I wanted to thank him, they quickly asked if I would say that at the microphone. I smiled big and said, “You bet I will!”
Wendy and I found a seat in the crowded room and waited for the first chance to shoot our hands into the air. Senator Hatch immediately saw us and before I knew it, I was introducing myself and ‘Anything for a Friend’. I explained to the people in the room that because of Senator Hatch ‘Anything for a Friend’ had gained its non-profit status as he had stepped forward and helped cut through the red tape of big government, where we had been in a year long battle. Excitedly, ‘Anything for a Friend’ has been able to help 13 families, resulting in over $460,000 for the relief of people struggling with life threatening diseases. I said, “non-coincidentally, we have our 14th event just downstairs for a 4 year old named Kash Maughan and his family and I felt almost compelled to come up here to thank you in person, so thank you Senator Hatch for not being too big to remember the little guy. Your efforts have made it possible to extend our level of influence to more families and communities, bringing relief to untold hearts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
Throughout my brief time at the microphone, Orrin Hatch humbly added things, such as, “Congratulations! I love you. You are not a little guy. You are welcome.” I sincerely appreciated all that he had done in his service to our country before he stepped forward for ‘Anything for a Friend’, and I will be one of his biggest supporters coming out of this experience.
Thank you again Senator Hatch! Please don’t forget to go out to the caucus meetings and show your appreciation for the gift that he has given to ‘Anything for a Friend’ and support Orrin Hatch on the 15th of March at 7 pm. You can pre-register for the caucus at: http://utgop.org/. Let your voice be heard!
Samantha's Event August 20th, 2011
Inevitably there are incredible moments that come out of each event! For those that were present for Samantha's event there are things that will never be forgotten, such as the torrential thunderstorm, the 3 inches of water inside the pavilion, or Samantha's sweet smile and voice as she addressed the group. In addition to the things that we easy for everyone to see there were countless other things that warmed the hearts of a few, but have the power of changing all of us. I would like to share one!
Underneath the pavilion walked a man covered in tattoos, body piercings, and incredible facial hair! He was an intimidating sight as he walked up to the cashier's table and everyone took a deep breath. Undeniably, assessments were being made because of past life experiences and the fear of the unknown and then this sweet man uncovered his intention, for you see he was not buying a t-shirt, dinner, or a basket he simply asked the cashier, "What is the little girl's name?', with a soft and gentle voice.
She answered, "Samantha Milbourn", with growing curiosity as she overheard the conversation between he and his wife.
"How much money do we have in the checking account?", he asked with determination.
"153 Dollars", she whispered.
This sweet man then pulled out his checkbook and wrote Samantha's name, a name that he had just learned and began writing his donation. The cashier steadied her voice and she said, "Thank you!", realizing that he had written the check for 153 dollars.
I will live my life trying to be like this man! When we talk about the money being the smallest part of an Anything for a Friend event, we really mean that it is the smallest part of the event. Thank you sweet friend with tattoos, piercings and great facial hair for the lesson in generosity! My the Lord bless you for your impact on this world.
"Friend of Team Tyler F2TF" July 18th, 2011
The thrill of Tyler Smith's event had not calmed, the buzz of people's goodness and generosity was still buzzing in my ears! I walked to the mailbox on that following Tuesday night, and as has become customary, the mailbox had more checks and well wishes for the past and current recipients. I was so touched as I walked into the house.
I began to open the various pieces of mail and there was a large envelope with a window and typed in the window was "Anything for a Friend c/o Becky Anderson". I opened the piece of mail and read the short, typed letter which said,
You are truly an angel. All the time, energy and love you give paying it forward is quite inspirational. I would like to help in your quest to pay it forward. Please accept these donations for Samantha and Daniel's fundraiser's. See you around.
Friend of Team Tyler F2TF
I was so touched by the letter itself and then opened up the checks. Tears started to stream down my face as I realized that this person, who was completely anonymous to myself and a supposed virtual stranger to Samantha and Daniel, had cut two Cashier's Checks, one to Samantha and one to Daniel for $5,000 each!
My heart burned within my chest and I reflected on the true goodness of people. I will quite possibly never know who this person was; I may never be able to describe to them how my heart was changed and emboldened that night because of their quiet and unbelievable act of kindness and generosity, but I will live my life with the memory of what those checks represent for me and that is the CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO CHOOSE TO BE GOOD; TO USE MY RESOURCES TO BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE IN THE WORLD WE LIVE IN AND DO ANYTHING TO BRING ABOUT HEALING TO THOSE WHO STRUGGLE!
Thank you my anonymous friend! You have changed my soul forever and the God who sees in secret will reward you openly.
All my heart,
Healing at Ligori's October 19, 2010
Just the other night, Thomas and Jordan were eating at Ligori's, when to their surprise and delight someone (still unknown to them) picked up their check. It is a wonderful thing when complete strangers step out of their comfort zones to bring a little bit of happiness into someone else's life. Three cheers for the kind people at Ligori's who brightened Thomas and Jordan's life for a while! I hope we can all be a little more mindful of those people who's paths we cross each day, that we can be a powerful reminder of how great God's kids can be! (Mosiah 18:8-10, Matt. 6:4)
Legacy of Recipients September 25th, 2010
At Kambri Jeffer's event on the 25th of September, we had a unique opportunity. We had three of the past four recipients of Anything for a Friend ( Becky Anderson, Courtney Child, and Kambri Jeffers) and were able to introduce Thomas Kammeyer, the 5th recipient. It was really neat to watch the Pay It Forward concept really come to life. The feelings of love and support that passed through the group were palpable and tears flowed as everyone realized how big this concept could really be and how many lives could eventually be impacted.
"We don't have control over bad things happening to good people, but we can lessen the impact of that bad thing in their lives!"
Updates on past recipients
"I am doing GREAT! The chemotherapy did what it was supposed to do so I am cancer FREE. I will be going back in periodically to receive exams, tests and cat scans to make sure I stay that way! My energy level and overall wellness feels back to normal again, I am just trying to grow back my hair! After going through and conquering cancer again, life seems a little brighter, the beauty of the world seems a little more breathtaking and my relationships are a little tighter now and I am GRATEFUL to be ALIVE! Thanks again to everyone and Anything For a Friend who supported us financially and emotionally. The fundraiser event was a huge blessing to us in many ways!"
-Courtney Child, 3rd recipient, July 31st, 2010
Kambri is nearing the end of her 21 rounds of chemo. She has 3 more rounds of chemotherapy, hoping to be done just before Christmas. So far the routine scans she does every 3 months show no cancer. She continues to do hours of physical therapy each week, as she is working very hard to be able to walk again. She continues to amaze all around her with her positive attitude, smiles, and determination.
-Kambri Jeffers, 4th recipient, September 25th, 2010
Anything for a Friend in the Media
Wed, 06/01/2011 - 6:27pm
MARRIOTT-SLATERVILLE - For the past five years, Cody and Amy Anderson have endured a grueling “prep school,” leading up to what will be his greatest test — a liver transplant.
Anderson, 31, has primary sclerosing cholangitis, a disease that causes swelling, scarring and destruction of the bile ducts both inside and outside of the liver. In January, doctors told him he needed a liver transplant.
“After a few days of the news, we came to realize that this is what all our health struggles have prepared us for,” Amy said. “We know that we are given this to help others and teach them some of his lessons learned. This is his second chance at life.”
Anderson’s health struggles began in 2006, shortly after the birth of his son. After several months, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the large intestine and rectum. Diet and medication didn’t help and Anderson ended up having surgery a little over two years later. Then
he began bleeding internally, requiring emergency surgery on Easter morning of 2008.
“From there Cody was finally on the mend,” Amy said. “He started feeling better than he had in three years. We were finally on our way to being a normal family. During this time we were able to build a new home, have one more little boy and start building a normal life for our family.”
That normalcy wouldn’t last long, however. Last April, Anderson started showing signs of jaundice, a yellowish pigmentation of the skin. A liver biopsy confirmed PSC. In February he was officially placed on the transplant list.
Amy said the family is lucky to have health insurance through her employer, but medical bills are piling up and insurance won’t cover a transplant.
“It’s funny how an organ transplant is considered an elective surgery,” she said.
To help with the costs, a fundraiser will be held Saturday in Taylor. Amy said not only will the money help her husband, it will help others as well.
“The amount we want to raise, to be honest, is more than what the transplant will cost,” she said. “There are many out there who are in need of help too. We are so excited to help pay it forward.”
The family has joined forces with the non-profit organization, Anything for a Friend. According to its website, the organization’s goal is to show the healing power that occurs when countless people step forward and band together through acts of kindness towards a common goal of love and support.
For now, Anderson is taking several medications each day and is feeling pretty good. They said they hope through their experience, they can bring about awareness the importance of organ donation and friendship.
“Organ donation is giving the gift of life to someone who needs it most,” Amy said. “I know it’s a hard decision for a family to have to choose after they lost someone but I feel if it were me I would want to know that something good came out of a dark situation for many people.”
According to yesutah.org, over 16,000 people are waiting for a life-saving liver transplant.
To read more about the Anderson’s journey, visit their blog at http://change4cody.com or www.anythingforafriend.com/help-your-friend/cody-anderson/.
- DATE: June 4
- TIME: 4:30 to 8 p.m.
- PLACE: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Taylor church house, 2200 S. 4300 West, Taylor.
- ACTIVITIES: 5K at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m., silent and live auctions, kid’s corner, entertainment, balloon launch.
May 2011 Volume 1, Issue 5 www.thesweettoothfairy.com
Set the oven over there, sir! Stay tuned for an exciting announcement and a Sweet new location. Want a Sweet Tooth Fairy near you? Let us know—find us on Facebook and Twitter.Mom's the WordBring Mom in on Saturday, May 7th for a free Cakebite 3-pack Gift Box for Mother's Day.* Have a special gift in mind? Be sure to order by May 6th.Victory Never Tasted So SweetJoin the Sweet Tooth Fairy May 7th at the Goldilocks Bike Ride in Herriman, Utah. The race will begin and end at W & M Butterfield Park, 6212 Butterfield Park Way, Herriman, Utah.*While supplies last. A long time ago, in the traditional gourmet bake shops of ancient Mexico, a magical ingredient was discovered that had the power to bring joy, camaraderie and comfort to all who partook—chocolate!
This month we celebrate the civilization that brought this tantalizing treat to us with Cinco de Mayo, a holiday devoted to honoring Mexican heritage and culture. We’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo all month long, and we invite you to tempt your taste buds with Latin-inspired Cakebite, cupcake and bar flavors like Mayan Chocolate, Tres Leches, Dulce de Leche, Cinnamon Churro and Caramel Flan.In addition to Cinco de Mayo, May is also all about remembering our moms. For even fairies have mothers. And, with Mother’s Day approaching, this fairy remembers watching her mother’s favorite wooden spoon gracefully swirl and dip through varieties of batter, disappearing into the sugary depths of her mixing bowl and reappearing with blended goodness. And it was from my mother that the Sweet Tooth Fairy learned that there is more than one kind of sweetness that can be shared with a cupcake. This motherly mantra has guided The Sweet Tooth Fairy’s Bake a Difference initiative, which adds a unique flair and flavor to different community projects and nonprofit organizations. Find the Fairy this spring at the Anything for a Friend event, the Pink Series, and the Goldilocks Bike Ride, or anywhere where the addicting aroma of treats meets community. After all, cupcakes are cute in any culture, and delicious translates to every language. Ole!
Race for the Cure, woman's website raising money for breast cancer research
May 6th, 2011 @ 9:15pm
By Brooke Walker
SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of women and their friends will take to the streets of Salt Lake City Saturday morning in a campaign against breast cancer.
The goal of the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. But Saturday's race is also about showing support for the sisterhood of women affected by the disease — women like Becky Anderson.
"You never prepare yourself for that moment. I think the heart is always naive to those types of moments," Becky says.
That life-changing moment, as Becky remembers it, came in the form of a phone call. She was expecting a routine report from the doctor, assuming the lumpectomy would prove clear just as her mammogram had — this hope, despite a nagging feeling that the lump she felt was something.
"I'm hearing these pauses in his voice," Becky remembers. "He said, ‘I don't know how to tell you this but you have cancer.'"
They are words that would change this 37-year-old mom from the inside, out. But help and support quickly came pouring in.
"My little sister, who is 13 months to the day younger than me, has always been my pal," Becky says. "Her thought about this was, ‘I need to do something. I gotta do anything I can;' and hers was to be active to be service-oriented. And that came in the form of a fundraiser."
Now, with her own cancer in remission, Becky is paying it forward through her website: Anything for a Friend.
"Anything for a friend is a vehicle created to help God's kids serve each other when we are in trouble," she says.
Becky has helped organize five fundraisers to date, giving support to others who are going through struggles of their own. For her, "giving" is the key.
"People want to express their goodness, and I love that they have the opportunity to do that," she says.
Many other Utahns will take that same opportunity to help by participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Saturday morning in Salt Lake City. It begins at 8 a.m., and several roads will be closed. CLICK HERE for a map of the race route.
Email: [email protected]
Cancer survivor turns attention to others
LAYTON — Becky Anderson looked around the packed dance hall and nearly burst into tears. Some people in the audience had known her since childhood, while others were acquaintances she'd waved to while jogging or running errands in the neighborhood.
What touched her most, though, were the "friends" who were strangers and yet had still shown up with open hearts and pocket books to chip in what they could in her fight against breast cancer.
"I knew right then that this whole experience was bigger than myself and that the love in that room needed to continue," says Anderson, recalling the fundraiser held in her honor last April. "You could just feel a spark of hope that night. I knew it was my purpose to pass along that hope to somebody else."
With her cancer now in remission after 16 rounds of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation and a mastectomy, Anderson, 38, now devotes her spare time to www.anythingforafriend.com, the website she started with her sister, Brenda Smith, and close friend, Denise Parker, to keep that spark of love going.
Since April, the women have helped organize community fundraisers for five people with cancer, raising more than $113,000 to help pay for treatment.
The goal now, says Anderson, is to take "Anything for a Friend" nationwide, to let people know how simple and satisfying it can be to help a friend, or stranger, in need.
"There's no reason why this idea couldn't help 100 people on the very same day," says Anderson, who recently met me for a Free Lunch of pasta and salad with her sister at Layton's Olive Garden restaurant.
"What's amazing to me is that even though these are tough times," she says, "people still reach deep and give what they can to help a person win the fight of their lives."
In Anderson's case, that fight started late last year, when she found a lump in her right breast. With a history of breast cancer in her family (her maternal grandmother died from the disease), she went in for a mammogram and a biopsy.
The results came back clean, but Anderson, a mother of two young sons, couldn't shake an uneasy feeling. Against the advice of doctors who thought the lump was benign, she decided to have it removed. Lab results were shocking: Anderson had Stage 3 breast cancer.
When Anderson told her sister and best friend about the diagnosis, they felt desperate to help her turn the devastating news into something positive. Parker, a three-time archery Olympian, recalled how her friends and neighbors had held a fund-raiser when she was a teenager so that she could afford to travel to events and qualify for the Olympic team.
She and Smith quickly organized a spaghetti dinner, bake sale and silent auction to help with Anderson's mounting medical bills. More than 1,000 people showed up to chip in more than $30,000 and watch Smith and Parker shave their heads in solidarity with Anderson, who had lost her thick, curly locks to chemotherapy treatments.
Touched by the generosity of those who would do "anything for a friend," Anderson jumped in to help organize a fund-raiser for another woman with breast cancer who didn't have insurance.
From there, she says, "it was like a rock tumbling downhill, picking up speed. A friend helped a friend, who helped another friend."
With help from www.anythingforafriend.com, rallies have been held for a child with bone cancer, a young woman going through her third bout with ovarian cancer and a man fighting a rare form of tissue cancer.
"Even if I had the power to take my experience with cancer away, I wouldn't do it," says Anderson. "The depth I feel for people is just different now. My life has been changed for the better. Sparking hope in somebody else — that's what it's all about."
More information can be found at www.anythingforafriend.com.
Group helps families, friends of cancer patients
A stranger had warned me about the hill.
It was hot. The hill was long. And unfortunately, it was at the beginning of the 5K race.
That meant that even before we weekend warriors were even warmed up, we were huffing and puffing up what had to be the world's best sledding hill before a housing development turned it into the neighborhood's steepest street.
But this time I didn't shy away from the challenge. In fact, I picked up the pace. That's because I thought of Courtney Child and what she has had to battle three times.
Compared to ovarian cancer, the hill couldn't even be considered tough. As I climbed it, gaining altitude and speed, I thought of how, at age 28, with three little children, she was fighting ovarian cancer for the third time.
Desperate to help her with medical bills and show their love, her friends and family joined forces with a charity called "Anything for a Friend," which helps the friends of those dealing with cancer feel a little more hopeful and a little less helpless.
The 5K race was part of a fundraising effort on Child's behalf.
"Anything For a Friend" got its start just a few months ago when Denise Parker and Brenda Scofield Smith decided they needed to do more than feel bad for Becky Scofield Anderson. The mother of two boys was diagnosed with cancer at age 37, and when she lost her hair, Smith and Parker decided they'd shave their heads, as well.
It was just a gesture of support, to show that they'd do anything for their friend. And thus, the charity was born. It helps families organize fundraisers, offers support for events and provides much-needed guidance in the process of raising money. The group even helps find sponsors for the events, which include a 5K race, silent auction, farmers market, pancake breakfast, kids carnival and just a whole lot of love.
As I made my way up the hill, I thought of how much Child would rather be running that course than fighting for her life. I thought of how good it must feel for all these people around me to be able to do something for her and her family.
And once I finished the hill, I continued to think of her. She was at the finish line, shaking hands and thanking people for running for her.
I was not looking good, but I wanted to meet 10-year-old Kambri Jeffers, the next benefactor of an "Anything For a Friend" effort.
I'd met her mom, Jessy Jeffers, before the race. She'd noticed her daughter was walking funny last winter and had some knee pain, but her pediatrician told her that pain was normal for a growing girl.
The mother didn't buy it.
So when her husband had shoulder surgery a couple of weeks later, she asked his doctor what he thought. He examined the girl, took some x-rays and told her to see a cancer specialist immediately.
Kambri had a tumor on her leg that had worked its way through the bone below her knee.
She had surgery, and now she's enduring physical therapy and chemo. Once active and energetic, she's confined to a wheelchair.
"She's very athletic," said her mother. "She asked the doctor, 'Am I going to play soccer again?' "
His response was understandable.
"Let's deal with one thing at a time," he said.
And Kambri's response?
"If I can't play soccer, someone is going to be in trouble."
Kambri's dad stood out among the other runners. Not because Brian Jeffers was fast, but because he was wearing jeans shorts. He looked like he hadn't planned on running that morning because, in fact, he didn't.
He was still signing up when the race started. He'd just started exercising a few weeks earlier. His goal was to be able to run the 5K that his family and friends were planning through "Anything for a Friend" in Kambri's honor on Sept. 25 at the Jensen Nature Park in Syracuse.
For more details or to register, go to www.anythingforafriend.com.
He was red-faced but beaming when he crossed the finish line.
"It feels good," he said, proudly announcing his finish time of 44 minutes. "If Kambri can fight cancer, I can sweat for 45 minutes."
After I finished talking with Kambri, she offered me a yellow bracelet. It says, "Kambri Kicks Cancer" — complete with a soccer ball.
I haven't taken it off since she gave it to me. And anytime I hit a hill that feels like it's stealing my momentum, I just look down at it.
If Kambri can fight cancer, I can get over any hill life puts in my path.
Anything for a Friend' helps out 9-year-old
SYRACUSE -- From a children's carnival to a pancake breakfast, some folks will do "Anything for a Friend."
A community fundraiser to benefit Kambri Jeffers, a 9-year-old with bone cancer, will be Saturday at the Jensen Nature Park, 3176 S. Bluff Road.
The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon, includes a 5K run, pancake breakfast, live and silent auction, farmers market, children's carnival and entertainment.
Tickets for the pancake breakfast are $5, or $20 per family.
The 5K begins at 8 a.m.; registration is from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. The $30 fee includes breakfast and a T-shirt. A motorcycle ride will begin after the race gets started and is $30.
Proceeds from the event will go toward medical expenses for Kambri, daughter of Brian and Jessy LaSota Jeffers of Syracuse, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma earlier this year.
For more information, call 801-913-0690 or visit www.anythingforafriend.com.
Gift baskets for Nevada cancer patient stolen
Roy Burton, Standard-Examiner staff
Created Jun 17 2010 - 10:59pm
LAYTON -- A carload of gift baskets gathered to benefit a Nevada woman with breast cancer was stolen Thursday morning. Lisa Gregersen is desperate to have them back.
The baskets were to be auctioned off at a dinner Saturday night in Logandale, Nev., to help Gregersen's friend Cher Freeman, who is being treated for breast cancer and has no health insurance.
Gregersen, an Ogden native, had gathered 10 gift baskets of donated items while staying at her sister's house in Layton. The wrapped gift baskets included items like a Nintendo DSi with games, a Guitar Hero game, art supplies, Scentsy candles, Cookie Lee jewelry, gardening tools and supplies.
When Gregersen went to the driveway Thursday morning to begin packing for the return trip to Nevada, the doors of her Ford Excursion were open.
Everything was gone.
Gregersen hopes whoever took the donations will see this story and have a change of heart.
"If (the people who took the items) want to take it back to the police station or leave it somewhere and just let us know, we'll pick it up. I won't press charges. We just want the stuff back. This is a matter of a fight for her life for our friend Cher," Gregersen said.
"We just want them to do the right thing."
For more information about Cher Freeman and her cancer fight, see her profile under "Help your friend" at www.anythingforafriend.com .
Gregersen can be reached at 775-455-5253.
"Northern Utah has been really, really great to us by doing some of the donations," she said.
Employees of Bella's Fresh Mexican Grill in Farr West are traveling to Logandale, Nev., to provide the dinner for the fundraiser.
Gregersen estimates the stolen items were worth $900 to $1,100. She was lucky that she hadn't yet picked up donations from Lifetime Products and Lagoon before the theft occurred.
"They took some of my kids' personal items. We're missing some iPods and some Nintendo DSis. That's something that I financially can replace, but the items for the (fundraiser), I wish I had the money to do it, but I don't. It's not a matter of just helping somebody. This is a fight for her life. We're paying for her chemotherapy to keep her alive so she can fight cancer."
KCSG Television at "Anything For A Friend" Fund Raiser
by Kcsg Televisio
Image 3 of 3
Country Artist Eric Dodge at Anything for a Friend
(Logandale, NV) - The "Anything for a Friend" fund raiser Saturday was held at the Clark County Fairgrounds with dinner provided by Bella Fresh Mexican grill, entertainment by country music's Eric Dodge and a "Live" and "Silent Auction.”
The proceeds of the event went to help Cher Freemen with battle with breast cancer. Cher had surgery for a double Mastectomy on May 26, 2010 in Las Vegas. Now she is preparing for reconstructive surgery as well.
"Anything for a Friend" is a simple concept about human beings interconnecting. The organization believes we each share an innate desire to connect and help one another when someone is in need. Most are unsure how to provide such help - enter "Anything for a Friend" which provides an avenue through which family, friends and the community dealing with personal tragedy can join together for support. The community fundraiser helped friends and the benefactor minimize some of the fear and anxiety associated with personal tragedy. Participants find satisfaction through such an event, ultimately benefiting the entire community.