While finding stories for my biweekly newsletter today, I came upon a story which moved me to tears.
Mike Masse's 11-month-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last month. To raise money for Noah's treatment, and provide support necessary for his family to stay financially solvent as they focus on Noah's care and comfort, Mike recorded a cover version of The Beatles' Let It Be. The song is designed as a "charity single" of sorts; anyone who contributes to Masse's fundraiser for Noah will receive a free download of the song.
I don't know Mike Masse, and I know that sadly, cancer affects an enormous number of people every day, and far too many children. If Noah's story, and/or his father's efforts to help him, move you, contribute. Or just listen to the song, and share your prayers of hope for Noah and his family.
As I thought I about Noah and the Masse family, I remembered another family dealing with cancer.
I've written before about Patti Digh, author, speaker, consultant, poet, and hero, who writes the 37days blog, as well as several tremendously inspiring books, including the amazing Four Word Self Help.
I've long considered Patti Digh one of my heroes, because of how she encourages people to think, to act, to reach for their dreams, and most of all, to inspire.
Patti's husband, John Ptak, an incredibly intelligent and astute writer, teacher, and person in his own right, was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. Patti and John have two daughters, Emma and Tess. John needs expensive surgery to treat his cancer, and he is uninsured.
Because Patti and John have touched so many people's lives, friends in their hometown of Asheville and all across the world have banded together to launch a campaign on Indiegogo to raise the funds needed for the surgery. And as this campaign has picked up steam, their friends have launched adjunct programs, like bake sales, t-shirt sales, and other initiatives to raise additional funds.
Again, I've been so overwhelmed by the generosity of Patti and John's friends, as well as total strangers, and the enormous gratitude they have shown toward those who have given, prayed, shared their story, and simply sent messages of encouragement. You may not know Patti, John, Emma, or Tess, but if you feel so moved by their story, see how you can contribute, even if it is simply a prayer.
In the play A Streetcar Named Desire, one of Blanche DuBois' most famous lines is, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Mike Masse, as well as Patti and John, have been benefiting from the kindness of strangers. And I hope this kindness pays them in ways they never imagined.