This is a photo of the late Jackie Fernandez Suntay and her husband Bobbit. Every time I see this photo I am reminded of how one person’s love manages to transform other people and bring hope.
Jackie died some years ago and though I had only met her a few times, her death came as a big blow. She was an opthalmologist and during the recovery period of one tough operation, she eased my mother’s worries when she found a doctor who continues to be my doctor to this day.
I met her once at a hospital. Then she got married. A few months later, she had cancer.
When she passed away, her husband gave life to their vision and established the Carewell Community. It’s a non-profit organization that seeks to provide support, education and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. Just thinking about what those words mean makes me realize how important this work is. The Big C definitely changes life as we know it and despite the huge name that goes around all circles of life, it is the smallest unit that’s most always hit hardest. Cancer can make or break families. It easily leaves us bereft of all the hope we’ve accumulated throughout the years.
And yet, despite these realities (that I’m sure belonged to Tito Bobbit and Tita Jackie’s families, as well), the Carewell Community managed to come about. They continue bringing new life to those who thought there might not be any more life to live after cancer.
As they continue to grow, the dream gets bigger and bigger. I just came from a dinner they held to thank various people. My dad took photos of the Carewell Stars last year and they now hang in the cancer ward of the old St. Lukes hospital. But anyway, we were there tonight to applaud the efforts of Team Carewell. I hope you’ll find time to visit their website, see what they’re up to and find creative ways to help. Money is always a good thing but it isn’t the only thing. Invest yourself in a worthy cause. And here’s one in case you don’t have one yet.
Also, if anyone in your family is afflicted with cancer, please consider looking up the Carewell Community. They’re here to help and they know what they’re doing.
Finally, find hope and comfort in stories like this. Sometimes, it’s all we really need to carry on.