Each year, the Maestro Health™ Charlotte office participates in a tradition that has become known as the “Wall of Heroes” and “Wall of Hope” in honor of cancer awareness month. Throughout the month, Maestronites post photos, words of encouragement and stories from cancer survivors and those who have lost loved ones to cancer. Here’s one of those stories from one of our Maestronites, Susan Hobbs:
When asked if I would like to write a few words on why I helped create and participate in the “Wall of Heroes” and “Wall of Hope” I hesitated, as I am not a writer and sometimes struggle to find the words that convey my feelings. But then I was reminded of how important it is for us to tell our stories, because we never know who may have gone through or is currently going through something similar and is struggling or feeling alone. I love telling the story of my little hero, but I will try to keep it short.
In June of 1990, my life changed forever. While in the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, my husband visited with our four (almost five) year old son Matthew, who wasn't feeling well. Later he told his dad he couldn't hear out of his "telephone" ear (his left ear he used while talking on the phone). The next few days led to a doctor's visit with an ear infection diagnosis, horrible headaches to lethargy, then an MRI a week later that showed Matthew had medulloblastoma. My baby had cancer.
Over the next eleven months, we grieved the loss of the healthy, vibrant life of our little boy but we also celebrated his life and the blessing and miracle that he was and still is to us. We made every second as full of life as we possibly could for him. As a huge basketball-lover, he was able to go to as many Charlotte Hornets games as he felt up to, met his favorite athletes (even Michael Jordan) and never lacked love and support from everyone he met. He was such a warrior.
We are a family of strong faith and I can honestly say that we never gave up hope. Sadly, Matthew lost his fight on June 4th, 1991. This year marked 27 years since I held my baby. But, I will always hold him in my heart and I believe and thank God I will one day see him again.
So, I participate in the “Wall of Heroes” and “Wall of Hope” to help keep Matthew’s memory alive and to help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. To be honest, before Matthew was diagnosed, I don't think I gave much thought to childhood cancer. I knew it existed but had no clue how many children were diagnosed each year or the lack of funding there is for research for a cure. Sadly, I now know.
There are so many others, as the wall shows, whose lives have been touched by cancer. Some have happy endings as they celebrate their survivor and their hero. And they continue to hope.
But sadly, others are remembering their loved ones that lost the fight. And we also continue to hope. We all hope for a cure. And we all celebrate our heroes!
I’m grateful that I work for a company like Maestro Health that gives us a place to share our experiences and continues to work to make the healthcare experience easier, especially during difficult times.