Ben and Shelby 2015

For: Shelby and Ben, and Maeve and Hazel of course
Caledonia, MI
Organizer: Friends
$207,881
of $250,000 goal.
Raised by 3374 donors
83% Complete
Donate Now

The Story

***Click on the Updates Tab for the most recent information regarding Shelby and Ben***


2014 was a challenging year, full of ever-changing obstacles for Ben, Shelby, and all those friends and family who have loved and supported them throughout.  
2015 is a year of new beginnings and new challenges.  Both Shelby and Ben continue to receive treatment for cancer: for Shelby the glioblastoma in her spine and now brain, and for Ben Hodgkins lymphoma.  
Ben's treatment will require him to be away from home for an extended period of time.  The Offrink and Tomczak families will continue to support as they always have, along with many other friends and extended family.  
Additionally, the financial situation has changed in that Shelby is now under long term disability coverage.  
Suffice it to say, 2015 is bigger, and requires our hearts to open wider, make more time, make bigger efforts.  Any donations will go directly to Shelby & Ben to pay for medical bills, food, household needs, and any other support they require. 


If you would like to bring the Offrinks a meal, please sign up via the link below. Thank you! 

http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=YLTB2788



Donations to Shelby & Ben can also be made out to “Team Offrink Family Donation Fund” and sent to the Huntington Bank in Lowell, Michigan. 

Huntington Bank
414 East Main Street, Lowell MI, 49331 
#616-897-4153

For the safety and privacy of the Offrinks, Mike Curtis at Farm Bureau Agency in Lowell will accept any packages or donated items for the family and we will deliver them personally to Shelby & Ben. You may mail them or drop off in person if you're local to the address below.  

Shelby & Ben Offrink c/o
Mike Curtis Farm Bureau Agency
1410 West Main St. Suite B, Lowell MI, 49331
#616-421-8505



Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 4, 2016

Posted on March 4, 2016

'I would do anything to save you from this. I would do anything to trade places. I would do anything to have you back just one more day...'

I've said these words a thousand different ways, a thousand different times for the past two years, and I can only assume that many of you have also shared in these thoughts. But the reality is that cancer took Shelby's life. Two girls lost their mother, a husband lost his wife, a mother lost her daughter, and friends lost their irreplaceable friend. Shelby would have done anything to help any one of us if we had been in her shoes, especially if it meant we could help in saving a life.
Right now, there are so many more people battling cancer just as Ben and Shelby did. We all know someone, right? A mother, brother, wife, friend, son, coworker- we ALL know someone. During chemotherapy and treatment, these patients need blood and platelet transfusions. Multiple times they are relying on these products to be available to aid in saving their life. And some of these people may even need a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant like Ben did. He found a perfect match from a stranger in Poland who had signed up on the Be the Match registry.
On March 26th, during the Lowell Community Expo, a blood drive through Michigan Blood Center will be held in honor of Shelby. We've all said, 'I would do anything'... so now, let's go do it! We are asking that you help others in a very big way. Please sign up to donate blood. You can also sign up to be on Be the Match registry. Saving lives matter, so put away any excuses you have to not donate and make time in your schedule. You know Shelby would do it for you!

Info:
When: March 26th from 8am-4pm
Where: Lowell High School
11700 Vergennes St, SE
Lowell, MI
Appointments recommended. Call 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5664) or online at https://donate.miblood.org/portal
Enter Sponsor code: Shelby and Click Go

Michigan Blood is being awesome and for every person that attempts to donate, money will be donated to the Shelby's Scholarship Fund!

it's that easy! Please help us out in making this a huge success. Thanks in advance!

Posted on February 7, 2016

Posted on February 7, 2016

A Celebration
Yesterday, February 6th, was Shelby's 32nd birthday. As the day approached, we made it a personal mission to not dwell on all the sadness of surrounding the fact that Shelby isn't here, but rather remember all of the things we loved about her. She always made her birthday a celebration, so we felt the need to carry out the tradition. Ben joined us for the evening, and it was nice to laugh together and think Shelby was rocking it out in heaven. Speaking of Ben, let's talk about a reason to celebrate....

So Ben is about 100 days post his bone marrow transplant. In the transplant world, that is a huge milestone. He recently had a bone marrow aspiration and PET scan which confirmed that he is still cancer free! Still in REMISSION!! He is also 100% donor cells. This means his donor cells are present, not Ben's cells (which is exactly what is needed). This is amazing news, and we could not be happier. It's crazy to think Ben was in a trial drug and told there's not many options left over the summer, and now he is cancer free. There have been a few complications with graft vs host disease, and he is still being monitored closely, but right now, we are pausing to celebrate this milestone.

Thank you to everyone who has kept Ben, Maeve, Hazel and their extended families in your prayers over these past few months. We know God, along with Shelby, has had hand in his recovery.

In honor of Shelby's birthday, we are re-releasing the top ten Shine like Shelby list in new fonts and colors inspired by Shelby's style. Please print a copy and hang in your home. (check out photos)

And one last thing, we are having a Blood Drive in Shelby's honor on March 26th through Michigan Blood Center. This will be at the Lowell High School during the Expo. For every person that donates, Michigan Blood will make a donation towards the Shelby Tomzcak Offrink Scholarship. More details to follow, but mark your calendars now to donate!!

Posted on December 16, 2015

Posted on December 16, 2015

Tis the season!

We hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. It's been a minute since our last update, and we appreciate the thoughts and kind words for both Ben and the girls over the past few months. The girls enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving with Ben and Shelby's families. Maeve and Hazel have gotten so big, grown so much! They are adorable as ever, and both have the best features of Shelby in different ways. Tomorrow Hazel turns 2!! Happy Birthday Hazey! We love you!

In the fall, Ben's repeat scans showed that he was in remission! That's right, you heard me, REMISSION! Wahoo! This was a miracle in itself. The next step was to go to transplant, and that is exactly what he did. On Ben and Shelby's wedding anniversary, Ben underwent a bone marrow transplant. (Tell me Shelby wasn't playing a part in this crazy story, right?) A perfect stranger donated marrow to Ben and literally saved his life. What a hero! Overall, Ben is stable and doing ok, but he will be monitored extremely closely for several months.

This time of year can be hard. It's busy, there is so much to do. But like for Ben and family, many of you could be celebrating your first Christmas without a loved one. That's difficult to think about. That life can just move on without someone so important. But throughout Shelby's story, she remained positive and had a greater perspective on life. She told us, I am bigger than this. She was more than a diagnosis, more than cancer. She was the best friend, the best mother and wife, the best daughter and sister. Now that she has given us this platform, we ask that Shelby and Ben's story inspire you this Christmas season. Find some way to do good, bring happiness to someone who needs it. Do something bigger than yourself. Make the most of the life you have and shine like Shelby every single day. (refer to top 10 ways to #shinelikeshelby ??) Last year Shelby said, I just want this Christmas to be good because you never know what will happen. And that's true for all of us. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, but we can make today good. With all the stress the holidays can bring, please remember Shelby's words. Her deeper message was, enjoy this time, it's not promised to always be here.

One easy way to make a difference is to donate blood. Seriously, it saves lives. Both Ben and Shelby have received many transfusions during treatment. Or you could join the 'Be the Match' registry. You could be someone's perfect match for the cure they need. If that doesn't work for you, host the most fun party for your friends, bring a meal to a neighbor, or call up your family to chat. Do something to make a difference this season. It's what Shelby would want!

Merry Christmas everyone!
xoxo


To join the registry and find out more information, please visit bethematch.org
It only takes a cheek swab to join!

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