Dana and Her Family Found Hope

“This time together refreshed our spirits and gave me strength to fight for my future!”

Our Cancer Journey

“When I was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2016, I was a different person. Back then, I was a middle school reading teacher and a divorced mother of two girls. I was dating an amazing man, Rob, who was a divorced father with one daughter. I had been feeling sick for about a month: high fever, low energy. My doctors thought it was the flu or mono. Life kept moving, and I began to feel slightly better.

I got a call from my family doctor who frantically ordered me to get to the ER immediately. My bloodwork had come back with a worrisome high white blood count. I followed orders and ended up with a 30 day stay at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Acute myeloid leykemia. I did not catch it early. Turns out I might have died if it had went undiagnosed for another week.

img_7606-2-min

Thank God for the honorable men in my life and our valiant little girls.

Rob was by my side, day and night, in the hospital. He loved me – hair falling out and all the other side effects of treatment. My ex-husband, Travis, really stepped up as well. He moved into my house to stay with the girls for a month, and give them much needed stability. My support squad stepped into action.

This was all followed by a 9 month recovery process. Our family vacation to Seattle had to be cancelled, but I started to feel like a person again.

Fast forward to December 2016, on Christmas Eve, Rob proposed in front of our daughters. Screams, tears, jumps, smiles from all of us! It was the best Christmas ever.

I returned to teaching in Spring 2017. Cancer, Shmancer. I was fine. Then I began feeling sick again.

The leukemia came back with a vengeance. I spent the month of June at HUP getting chemo and preparing for a bone marrow transplant for September. I asked if they could perform the transplant on the beach, since that was when our honeymoon was scheduled for. Surprisingly, they could not!

All hands on deck again. Travis moved back into my house with the girls, and Rob and I spent our time at the hospital.

Rob and I decided to get married in a backyard ceremony in July. Love, smiles, elation, dancing. That day was pure joy. But cancer would have its day again.

Rob and I honeymooned on the 7th floor of HUP in late August. I had obliterative radiation and chemo. On September 1st, I had the bone marrow transplant. I’ve been battling with a smile to recover ever since.

My experience with cancer has given me a new perspective on life. It’s the worst, and best, thing that has ever happened to me. I cherish the time I have with my husband and daughters. Our family has been through so much in the past two years. My girls have battled through it with me with a strength and resiliency I could have never imagined.

I would love to give them a REAL vacation – a chance to be normal and bond as a family. Being out of work for almost two years would make it difficult to fund this type of vacation.

Rob deserves it. My girls deserve it. And you know what? For all I’ve been through, I guess I deserve it too. As a family, we need time to put the word “cancer” and everything that’s associated with it, aside. Now we need to focus on making more little moments to cherish.”

Our Break From Cancer

“For Love’s Sake

For my Family’s Sake

For my Marriage’s Sake

For Pete’s Sake

Thank you for giving us a break from cancer!

I didn’t realize how disconnected we had become because all the focus was on cancer. This time together in Florida allowed us to focus on our family. My husband and I became a couple again – not just caregiver and patient. Cancer did not cross the girls minds for the first time in two years. That is priceless! For Pete’s Sake is now near and dear to our hearts and we want to help other people have this same experience!

Thank you to KING Limo for providing complimentary airport transportation to Jen and her family! Thank you also to U Can Cook for providing a fun experience to be taped for Small Town Big Deal!

Small Town Big Deals

It's such an Honor to share with all our Fans and Friends this amazing video; Thank you to Small Town Big Deal for featuring Us on your Show!!We feel so lucky that we were able to bring some smiles and happiness to this incredible family; we love U

Posted by U CAN COOK on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

View More of
Our Stories

Our Travelers take a break from what life with cancer has become with doctor visits, surgery, tests and treatment. Through a unique gift of time together, they create priceless magical, memorable moments, experience immeasurable joy amidst devastating crisis, confront cancer hardships together and find emotional healing, hope and happiness during an uncertain and tumultuous time.

airplane

Give A Break From Cancer

Every donation helps. Give the gift of a a break from cancer by making a monthly or single donation to our program. Learn more about our donation options and other ways you can help.