Today I have the honor of sharing Shawna and Teddy Nearhoof’s story. Shawna and her husband Teddy have been together for 14 years and married for 8 of those wonderful years. They have a 23 year-old son and an 11 year old daughter. Teddy was diagnosed with Fibromyxoid Sarcoma on October 24th, 2018. Teddy’s cancer was originally diagnosed as a torn muscle a year prior, until he went for a routine physical on October 6th, 2018. After a few weeks of tests, they had their official diagnosis. That’s when everything changed. He started radiation on January 2, 2019 and finished on February 6th, 2019. Just a few weeks ago Teddy had surgery on the very day their family was planning to take their biggest vacation to date, to Universal Studios Florida. Those plans instantly changed. Shawna says that on the day to day not much has changed, the mindset just changes. You take everything day by day, more than ever before.
Some of the Radiant Hope team had the honor of meeting both Shawna and Teddy during one of their stays at Hope Lodge. Shawna says, “Teddy had his biopsy and we had been referred to the Hope Lodge so we could stay close. That was the night we also met the wonderful ladies from Radiant Hope. Both were so instrumental in this process. Without the Hope Lodge I don't know what we would have done. We had to stay in Hershey for 5 weeks. It was truly a home away from home. Now Radiant Hope was put in our lives when we needed it the most. Right from the beginning they were amazing. Just having someone to message and get that boost when we needed it. We also are lucky enough to have an amazing support system at home. My husband's coworkers and our fire department made sure we were not in this journey alone. Plus our amazing family was behind us as well. Then we had the wonder people we met along the way. My husband got released from the hospital 36 hours after major surgery. One of the reasons I personally believe he is doing so well is because of the positive outlook and with everyone rooting him on it made him fight harder to beat this.” Shawna also shared with us, "in all honesty I'm such a solitary person, I never knew so many people cared. I was ready for us to fight this alone. I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and support."
What a testament to Hope in the most difficult of times and the power of community. In moments when we don’t know what is next or exactly where to turn, Hope keeps us moving forward. So deeply thankful for Shawna and Teddy’s willingness to share their journey with us.
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