Wonderful idea brought to reality by wonderful people. At such a difficult time in so many women's lives, it has to be a great comfort to know there is at least an affordable place to stay while they receive their follow up treatment. Bravo!
Suites of Hope was started by a visionary woman, Rachel Midgett, and helped along to reality by her wonderful husband, Clint, and her amazing friends. Because of Rachel, a beautiful, fully furnished condo close to the Medical Center is available for breast cancer patients who are in clinical trials at MD Anderson. The Suite is a welcoming, comforting refuge for women and their families during a time of great personal stress. All of the donations given to Suites of Hope go straight to maintenance and upkeep of the condo and into a fund set aside for expansion. Someday we hope Suites of Hope will grow and be several (or many!) such places that are so essential and badly needed.
I am so inspired by Rachel's journey and drive to "pay it forward" for others in need as she was fighting her own battle with cancer. Her memory will live on through those she reaches through her unselfish gift to fellow cancer patients.
I just read justwarren's review and was brought to tears. EVERYTHING that he said about Rachel is true. Sadly, I met Rachel, the founder of this non-profit, after her diagnosis. (I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. - and, that was our connection.) To say that I am in awe of what she accomplished in the face of this horrible disease is inadequate. I intend to honor her in every way that I can.
I am not adequate to tell this story. But I will do my best. I worked with it's founder, Rachel Midgett many years ago. We lost touch and I "found" her years later on Facebook. In the intervening years she had gotten cancer. She was treated, went into remission and then had several relapses; several health "victories" and heart breaking set backs followed. The courage and faith she displayed throughout this process was nothing less than awe-inspiring and frequently humbling. At some point in her journey, I think, she became aware that her prognosis even at best, would make a long retirement unlikely. She took this information as motivation to do even more good.
From her first diagnosis she had been chronicling her health battles and in doing so she made a great many friends "along the way". It became clear to her that many people, like her were receiving state of the art cancer treatment from MD Anderson. But this also meant, potentially, a long trip and securing local hotel lodging for a great many out of town-ers. This added expense only serves to make things that much more difficult for cancer patients and their families. For some it can be a huge if not insurmountable financial burden. It was Rachel's vision that she would make a difference by using her retirement money to seed this project of purchasing a condo close enough to MD Anderson that patients and family members would have, at least, one less thing to worry about and one less expense in this difficult process of getting treatment for their cancers. A condo was purchased and furnished with the help of her amazing husband, Clint and several of her devoted friends.
Recently, Rachel lost her battle with cancer. Rachel was the most courageous person I have ever met. I didn't know her well, but I read everything she wrote chronicling her battle(s) in the last few years. She was a person of great faith and extraordinary courage and optimism. She loved life. She cared about others.
To me, there is nothing more satisfying than honoring one of those rare individuals who's life affirms ours and makes us better just for having known her. You may no longer "know" Rachel now, but you can be connected to her vision, her courage, her love and her faith by becoming part of this great organization. Donate! It's the best thing you can do to help support other people who need it. After you donate, feel good about it, hug someone and enjoy your life! That's Rachel's legacy. Now you're part of it!