Make the FPS Mission Possible in June
This month, we are honored to share a beautiful story from one of our Oncology Team members, Mary Oleksiak, a social worker who has been nominating her patients for respite experiences for many years! Mary shares the importance of giving her patient, Vicklan, emotional support through an FPS respite.
“I nominated Vicklan and his family for an FPS Travel Respite Experience because he’s a guy in his forties, who was just working hard and trying to support his family when he was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer! It came out of nowhere and he was quickly incapacitated enough to be unable to work. That put an immediate financial strain on this young family and so much pressure on his wife, Jillian, to support them.
We worked on things like accepting that he’s unable to get back to work and getting health insurance when he lost his after not working anymore. This family has been distracted with so many practical issues in addition to dealing with such a serious illness. Vicklan has had oral chemo, a few rounds of radiation, chemo infusions, and many side effects from it all. His kids have seen him so sick and wondered when he’d feel better just to play with them!
This respite in June will be an opportunity for them to just get away, take a break from treatments and have some fun as a family. It will be time for two sons to just BE with their dad – to just love each other. I want this family to create a memory of a fun week that will take them through the rest of treatment, which will probably always be a part of their lives. I hope it’s something these boys will remember and treasure forever!
I continue to advocate and support FPS because I see “up close” what a difficult disease cancer is to deal with for every member of the family. I have a sense of its impact on the whole family. Sometimes I think the patients put on blinders and just forge ahead like they’re going into battle. They don’t always see all the effects, but their loved ones are seeing it all. They see the toll it’s taking on the patient and their body being ravaged from the disease or side effects of treatment, and they’re frightened. Nominating them for a respite gives everyone something joyful in their lives to look forward to, a focus other than cancer, which has taken over their lives. I think for parents with kids, they feel like it’s the only gift they can give their kids during this otherwise difficult time.”
You can give Vicklan’s family and others the benefits of Travel Respite at Woodloch from June 13 – June 18! Please donate and help us reach our $5,000 fundraising goal for this month. We’re excited to share that Mary will be volunteering as a facilitator at June’s respite experience and will witness the joy brought to this family first-hand! Donate to June’s goal and you’ll receive feedback from Vicklan and his family after the respite.