Vonda’s Story – The Pink Fish Founder Needs Help Too!
Earlier this summer, my friend Vonda Byerly felt an itch just below her collar bone. That’s when she noticed a little lump and went to the doctor. The biopsy came back positive for cancer, so a few weeks later she underwent surgery. She recovered well from the surgery and was declared cancer-free! Then following her doctor’s recommendation, she started chemotherapy. Without chemo, she had a 35 percent chance of relapse in the next 10 years. She had her first of 4 chemo sessions on Oct. 23 and will wrap them up the day after Christmas. At present she is in the hospital for a several-day stay and getting antibiotics by IV. She started running a fever and is at high risk for illness since her immunity is so low. Although she has insurance, she has already maxed the family deductible.
We estimate that her out-of-pocket cost for medical care after insurance will be $15,000. She and her husband Brent reluctantly agreed to let us set up this “Give Send Go” site on their behalf. They are not the type of people to ask for help. They are givers.
After her diagnosis, Vonda and her husband Brent, who is a woodworking craftsman and owner of Be Your Own Fish, started The Pink Fish Project, as a way to donate to OTHER PEOPLE struggling with cancer in their community. Brent handcrafts pink fish and sells them for $15 each at craft shows and in stores around the Thomasville, NC area. They donate 100% the proceeds to local cancer services and have raised more than $600 so far.
“Cancer...it's a scary word & one you can't prepare yourself to hear,” Vonda said. “It doesn't discriminate against anyone. But it does give everyone a chance to spread hope to others & show them God's love. We decided after my diagnosis to do just that. All the money raised by The Pink Fish Project goes to Cancer Services of Davidson County.”
Brent had this to say, “The Pink Fish Project is our new labor of love. Vonda's recent cancer diagnosis and surgery made us look at things quite differently. While my first reaction was fear and dread, she was somehow inspired. She began wondering what lessons we needed to learn from this ‘bump in the road.’ She told me that we need to start helping people again. Her strength and optimism always inspires me.”
At the same time they are giving to others, Vonda’s medical bills are piling up, and typical life expenses continue on, as well. The couple have two children – a daughter, who is in her third year of college, and a son, who is in middle school. So, a few of her friends asked if “we” – her friends and family, church members and work colleagues, could help them with the medical bills. Please consider easing their burden a little. All the donations – 100 percent – will go directly to Vonda for her medical expenses. We appreciate any amount you can give. If you know Vonda, we know you love her!
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"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:12