Thursday, August 17, 2006

This article appeared in the papers today.

Montrose Rallies Around Hometown Cancer Victim

“My world had been turned upside down. My thoughts are scrambled. I feel completely fatigued yet full of curiosity. I am still in denial that anything has really happened.”

It was just a pesky, nagging cough. It was just another summer day. It was just a routine visit to the doctor’s office. But in one flash of the CT scanner, that cough, that day and that doctor changed a life forever. Rani, a lifelong resident of Montrose, was diagnosed with stage IIb Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this past June and is now fighting to beat the cancer. She has undergone surgical removal of a portion of her lung and an enlarged lymph node and is being treated with aggressive chemotherapy. Yet she considers herself lucky, even blessed.

“One of the things this whole experience has done for me is put into perspective where my priorities should be. I understand how important my family is and how blessed I am to have children and brothers and sisters, and let's not forget friends...the superglue of my life.”

Rani is the wife of her high school sweetheart and the mother of two children. The community of Montrose and many people from surrounding communities have pitched in to help the family with meals, errands, babysitting services and moral support. Rani’s form of cancer comes with an 80% survival rate, but she firmly believes her odds are much higher thanks to a wonderful support system and an unwavering faith.

“The people around me are my strength, they are the force that drives me to want to be BRAVE and beat this disease. I can't make it without them. It is so important to have friends and family and neighbors and people who care. My community or TOWN (tons of wonderful neighbors) is amazing and so supportive.”

In an effort to help the family wade through the medical costs, living expenses and lost days at work, a committee of friends and family are organizing a benefit for Rani and her family. “Rally for Rani” will be held on August 26 at the Montrose Softball Complex and was designed with the Gordon family in mind. There will be a kids’ carnival, bean bag tournament, pork feed, silent auction and a dance. The event will take place from 3 pm until midnight, and all proceeds will go to Rani, her husband and their children.

“And even now hours after chemo, when I am tired and sick and a little crabby, I want everyone to know that deep down inside me in the essence of Rani there is a pilot light of optimism that will never be extinguished. The power for this fire comes from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and from my handsome hubby and my strong and amazing mom and my beautiful children and my family and friends.”

The “Rally for Rani” committee is hoping for an overwhelming turnout, not only as a testament of friendship and support for Rani, but as a showing of small town solidarity and compassion.
“This is what it's like to live in 'the village'. I will never leave this tiny slice of heaven.”
(All of Rani Gordon’s excerpts were taken from her blog, with her permission.)
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