My mother once told me that God had given her my name – Sarah Grace. She didn’t understand the reason at the time, but through our relationship, she grew to understand and comprehend the grace of God. That was her story to me.
Many years would pass before I would cherish stories like that one, and before I would have given anything just to hear her tell me it again.
It was October, 2011. I living in Florida so I wasn’t experiencing much of a weather change, but I remember taking my Dad’s phone call while sitting in the doorway of my apartment. I knew my mom had been in and out of Drs. appointments because she had undergone foot surgery for a neuroma, and she was not healing well and had been experiencing a lot of lower back/hip pain. My Dad said they did an MRI with contrast dye and found a tumor in her hip. I was shocked but thought for sure that it was probably nothing and all would be well.
The next phone call came a week or so later and this time it was to tell me that they had done a biopsy on the tumor and it was Multiple Myeloma cancer. They gave her 3-5 years to live.
I cannot begin to explain the emotions that ran through my head at that point. I felt desperate and in complete disbelief. If you knew my mom, she was the last person you would have thought would be diagnosed with cancer. She was healthy, active, and very fit.
She was fifty-three years old when she was diagnosed. My parents were living in Boston at the time so they naturally went to one of the best possible cancer research hospitals, Dana Farber. She had a wonderful doctor who was very caring and very patient.
The future did not look bright for her with Multiple Myeloma, but she took her diagnosis well, and went right to researching what she could do alternatively to treat her cancer. She began to look into every possible option and she started down the road of herbal supplements, coffee enemas, acupuncture, massage, and of course clean eating.
We were so positive and hopeful, and for a while things looked good, but at one of her check-ups her numbers started to decline and things were not looking as good for her according to the Western medicine standards. Her doctors told her she needed to make a decision. Was she going to continue with the alternative methods of treatment on her own, or was she going to trust herself in their hands and go with chemotherapy and radiation?
November 4th, 2014, at fifty-six years old my mother passed away. Almost exactly three years to the day that she was diagnosed. I will forever wonder if only she had continued down the alternative medicine road would she still be here with us today. I wish she had more support, and a practitioner telling her to keep doing what she was originally doing.
I watched my mother slowly slip away until she could no longer walk, go to the bathroom, and then even eat. She was in so much pain and no matter how many of the strongest pain killers we gave her, she got no relief. The amount of toxic drugs that they exposed her to is beyond belief. In fact when I look back now, I am even surprised she made it as long as she did.
How can you poison someone, kill everything good and bad, and then expect them to have any ability to survive? Chemotherapy and radiation destroyed her immune system, removing the vital support system that is built into our bodies, and weakening her further. With her immune system destroyed and her vital organs over stressed, the remaining cancer stem cells in her body were left to reek havoc.
It is in this light that I began The Grace Foundation. Not only honor the memory of my mother, but to give a voice to all of those people that are struggling on their own to make a decision as to what type of treatment they should seek.
Cancer is a terrible disease. It does not discriminate between age, gender, or race. It comes when you least expect it, and it can leave destruction in its path. I cannot stand by, feeling like my hands are tied, and continue to watch people’s time, efforts, and money being poured into more research, more funding, more experimental drug treatments that leave our pharmaceutical industries pockets fat, and our cancer odds rising.
Something must be done... Something CAN be done! And it is with our efforts and your support that we can make a change. With every person we can encourage, guide, and offer support in their journey to seeking a better alternative to chemotherapy and radiation, the courage and strength that my mother passed on to so many people will be able to shine in each new person we impact.