10/5 update: The sale went amazingly well! We sold more books than I expected, and as a result could donate more to Heather’s Care Fund than I expected. THANK YOU to everyone who supported Heather during the sale.
That said, you may be wondering why I’m not offering specific numbers. See, one of the risks of supporting a cause as an author is people might get the idea that something supported by a rich and famous (Ha and Ha) author would need little support from anyone else. That’s simply not true. While I would love to say I have the clout and resources to support Heather by myself, and I am so happy I have this ability to help her, she still needs so much support.
If you haven’t already, please consider offering a donation to Heather’s care fund (find it here). Any amount would be most welcome.
Thank you again for your support, for reading, and for being all-around awesome human beings.
End of update
Heather is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, neighbor, artist, and an incredible woman of faith.
We met in a church group in 2001 and were in the same Bible study group for years, a gathering of women we called the BS girls (because Bible study. Heh. We were so clever). It was more than a weekly gathering, though. We shared in each others’ lives. There were weddings, baby showers, graduation parties, barbecues, Christmas parties, and Mary Kay makeovers. Those makeup parties usually involved Heather trying to find a blush that wouldn’t look clownish on my ghostly white face. She may or may not have bestowed the nickname “Snow White” upon me during this time.
Our kids are the same age. We (the two of us along with the other girls in the group) shared maternity clothes, baby books, and all those supplies that really should come with a U-Haul when kids are born. You know how most new parents hole up at home and see a single visitor at a time? When their son was born, Heather and her husband threw a big party that included grilled steaks. It rocked.
Fast forward to September of this year, when Heather received heartbreaking news. As she describes on her Hope for Heather Facebook page:
My tumor biopsy on Monday did confirm that it is synovial sarcoma for the third time.
The first time occurred before she and I met. The only evidence of that illness was a stocking she has to wear on her leg. If you’d met her and interacted with her bubbly personality, you certainly would have no idea that she’d ever been so sick.
Heather’s second diagnosis occurred about three years ago, after the BS group had dissolved for some time. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know about that one until it was well underway. In spite of the internet and social media, I’d done a poor job of keeping up with my friend. Thankfully, one of the BS girls clued me in.
After a major surgery removing about half of her lung and a lot of chemo, Heather’s cancer went into remission.
The large tumor in my chest is pressing up against my heart and invading my liver and remaining lung on the right side.
We started meeting as a group again not long after that, and we’ve gathered for dinner monthly for the past couple of years. Heather was happy, seemed healthy, and spent more time listening to us ramble about our own lives than talking about herself. Our last outing was especially memorable, as we were seated at a large round table in an alcove-like room on the second floor of the restaurant. There were balcony doors on three sides, which on a normal day wouldn’t matter. But when a hurricane-force thunderstorm blew all three doors open, pelting us and everything else in the alcove with rain, it mattered. We got wet and had to pick up our food from the floor (no, we didn’t eat it), but we got free desserts out of it.
It is stage 4 metastatic cancer. Yesterday after the appointment all I wanted to do was sleep and forget about what just happened…
We knew about Heather’s third diagnosis – this one – right away. After we finished crying and expressing our anger and disbelief at the situation, we started brainstorming how to support her: Meals? Sure. Visits? Of course. Money? That’s certainly needed.
In times like these, I think people analyze their own situations for creative ways to help. In my case, that means books and blogs. More specifically, book sales and blog posts.
So in honor of Heather, I’m running a sale. From October 1st – 4th, the ebook edition of The Fourth Descendant will be $0.99 (click here to buy), and 100% of my royalties will go to Heather’s care fund.
I hope the sale will enable to me to give more than I would otherwise be able to. That said, if you don’t want to buy the book but would still like to support this amazing woman, you can do so here via Paypal or mail a donation as follows: make your check out to Starfish Missions, Inc. and put “Hope for Heather” in the memo box. Please send checks to Starfish Missions/Hope for Heather to 1465 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Suite 200 Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
I know Heather and her family will greatly appreciate any support. As you can imagine, treating cancer is a costly undertaking.
And if nothing else, please think of and pray for my friend. She has a beautiful heart and soul and is one of the most generous and humble people I know.