Jim Ross was diagnosed in August 2014 with stage IV colon cancer. Few of us who know and love this family could have imagined the turn their move to California from Pennsylvania just a year ago in August 2014 would take. An exciting career opportunity for Jim led them to take the leap of starting a new life in a new place, far from family and friends. After driving across the country by himself in their Uhaul truck, towing their minivan, Jim picked p uAmy and their girls - Madelyn, Hannah, and Alison - at the airport. He had not been feeling like himself for several months, but it immediately became clear to Amy that something was very wrong, and so they stopped at a nearby emergency room so that Jim could get checked out. A few hours later he had been admitted with a raging case of pneumonia, and the shocking cancer diagnosis followed shortly thereafter.
When Jim was finally released from the hospital many harrowing weeks later, after surgery to remove part of the tumor obstructing his colon, followed by some terrifying complications with his kidneys, the family knew that in order to face the journey ahead they would need to be where family and friends could support them, and so they began the journey back to Pennsylvania. After many months living with Amy's parents in a small house not designed to contain four adults and three lively little girls, they finally found a place to rent and the girls are back in their old school and doing well. Now their lives revolve around trips to Hershey Medical Center, over an hour drive each way, for chemotherapy and often an additional trip a few days after the chemo treatment to receive an additional shot. In between, Jim copes with the many very difficult side effects of chemo, and they all try to find some normalcy in a situation that is far from normal.
The support of family, friends, and strangers for the Ross family has been overwhelming, and the need continues to be great. Amy is juggling being a full-time caregiver and a full-time Mom, the girls have school and church groups and other activities, and Jim is fighting hard for his life every day. Medical bills pile up FAST with cancer treatments, and driving to and from Hershey so often, plus grabbing quick meals on the road or quick convenience foods for those times where there is just no time to cook adds up. Your support, whether through prayer, volunteering to help with driving, household chores, or other activities, and your generous contributions, are all vital to helping this family to get through each day, and to hopefully have some time to make fun memories together too.
No act of kindness or donation is too small - it takes a village to support our friends when they need us most.
If you haven't been following the amazing blog Jim has been writing about his experiences and insights over the last year, please check it out here:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for blessing the Ross's with your donation today!!