In 2007, I was diagnosed with oral cancer and was referred to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, hundreds of miles from our home in Tennessee. I happened to be 6 months pregnant with our 4th son at the time. On our first visit to Houston, friends of ours arranged for a gift card to be waiting at a local Mexican restaurant. We went and for a couple of hours, we were just on a date having dinner, not a pregnant cancer patient and her husband.
A couple of years later, a friend was facing Stage 4 bladder cancer. We collected gift cards for his family. A couple of thousand dollars in gift cards, mostly from strangers. At that point, I knew that this was something I could do, should do, for others facing cancer. And The Cancer Card Xchange began at our kitchen table.
Since June 2011, 1,541 patients all over the country (1 in Canada) have recieved a total of $144,000+gift cards.
All of that is amazing, but just as amazing to me is what has happened in the last month. I am facing a new occurence of oral cancer and had surgery at MD Anderson one month ago. Friends and family have shown up for us again helping in any way they can, including giving us gift cards. Just like the patients whose days are brightened by a gift in the mail that is so much more, we are overwhelmed with gratitude.
People are good. Still.
Our waiting list of patient referrals is is over 70 people currently. Please follow CCX's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for continuous updates on what we are doing and how you can help.
Thank you for supporting CCX,
Emily Tickle Thomas