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Every year, the Blesie Tree Walk gets better and better. This year, the weather was bright and beautiful, the music got us moving, and the speeches touched us and left us in tears.
We heard from the Blesie family, whose initial gift in memory of Eric, their husband and father, helped kick off the Blesie Tree Foundation’s mission of paying kindness forward. Amy Blesie spoke of the ways people lifted their spirits during her husband Eric’s illness and shared stories of how kindness can transform the lives of cancer patients.
Her son Carson told us: “When my dad was sick, it made things easier when many people showed kindness to us, and it’s important that we pay it forward who are going through their own cancer journey. It is also a good way to keep my dad’s spirit with me.”
Amy shared a letter from her son Ethan, which said in part: “All of the goodness people have to share with others can make the hard times better. Kindness is contagious. When we pay it forward it not only makes a difference in the community, but in the whole world.”
Nick Haerther is a current patient of The Ghosh Center. We wrote about Nick last year in a blog post, Uplifting Stories Are Everywhere. This spring, Nick and his wife Erin welcomed a new baby, Ember, into their family.
Nick spoke eloquently of what the Blesie Tree Foundation has meant to them: “Since my diagnosis, I’ve been a recipient of the support from the Blesie Tree Foundation. I’ve been gifted gas cards for treatments that required me to drive from Newhall to Iowa City for five days in a row for radiation therapy and even a catered Thanksgiving meal from HyVee.
The gifts my family have received have meant very much to us, and the smallest acts of kindness can affect people in a large way. A positive attitude can make a difference in how you feel physically and the gifts given by the Blesie Tree Foundation have always boosted my spirits and let me know I wasn’t alone in my fight. That support has made all the difference in my battle with cancer.
There’s no way I could imagine fighting this disease without the support of my family and the random acts of kindness I have received since my diagnosis. They have always showed me that someone is there to help me, and I have never felt alone dealing with this disease. The Blesie Tree Foundation has affected me greatly, and I can only hope for it to keep touching the lives of local families, just as it did mine, and to make a positive impact for them, just as it did for me.
I can’t thank the people involved enough. To everyone who donated, to the sponsors who helped make all of this possible, I can only be proof that this is a truly wonderful foundation and is helping local families going through their own battles with cancer.”
The pictures from this year’s walk tell an eloquent story. Feel free to download them by right-clicking on an image and choosing “save image as.”