Pete’s 20 Years…And the Rest is Still Unwritten
September 1, 2019 – A message from Marci Schankweiler
Today marks 20 years since my first husband, Pete, passed away. 20 years ago, Pete had a vision to help families in a cancer crisis – young patients in the prime of their life managing a devastating diagnosis. Pete essentially handed me a blank piece of paper upon his death asking me and the rest of his family, friends and community to write the story of his legacy. Since that moment on his deathbed, thousands have filled the lines of his blank piece of paper to make FPS a reality! Patients had their hearts healed, caregivers had their spirits lifted, children created unforgettable memories and donors had their souls renewed.
Pete gave us this blank sheet of paper and asked us to fill it in – WE DID! The most beautiful part of this story is that we all write our own part of how we can help: our oncology professionals help heal patients, our volunteers give of time to create smiles in traumatized lives, our patients inspire us, our caregivers are never short of giving hugs, our donors entrust us with their generosity.
Yet, 20 years later, the rest is still unwritten as we wrestle with how to continue to fill in the lines to help more and more young families in need. Pete wrote in his list of 100 things to do in Life before his death as numbers 97 to 100, Don’t Ever Give Up! So the page continues to unfold for each one of us as we ask ourselves what line will we fill in – Will we advocate for respite and share the FPS mission? Will we volunteer and share love with the families served by FPS? Will we consider a monthly gift to help families travel each month? Will we host our own event to raise funds and awareness? I know for sure that I, along with many, will Never Give Up!
So, we will continue to reach for something in the distance, we will live our lives with arms wide open, we will stare at our own blank pages before us and with the sun illuminating, our own book will begin with the premise – Don’t Ever Give Up! 20 Years of FPS, and the rest is still unwritten! Help us write the future pages.
Please enjoy this video that features the smiles of some of the families we have served over the past 20 years!
An excerpt from Pete’s List