How we came about
Our daughter Lacey had a smile and a hug for everyone she knew and for people she did not know. Lacey was diagnosed with Leukemia on the 6th of July 2009. In the months that followed we slowly saw an enormous outpouring of love and support from the Wisconsin Rapids (River city) community. This support came out in full force on the 14th of November at the Wildhorse Saloon in Kellner when a group of friends and family came together to hold a benefit for Lacey to help our family with medical bills and travel expenses. Expenses that unless you experience first hand an illness such as cancer you would not begin to realize what Lacey was dealing with, or how much this benefit truly helped us.
The number of people that walked in the doors that day still gives me goosebumps. As a parent I found a strange sense of pride that one of my children could effect so many and bring that many together. As I was told by an High School friend “look around at all the love in this room.” I realized as the day went on he was right; it was pure love radiating throughout the room.
On more than one occasion as Lacey and I were driving back and forth to Madison for her treatments we would talk about what we could do to thank the many people and businesses that gave so much of their time and gifted us with items to help our family. Having a few ideas but nothing worthy of thanking a community in the manner it so rightly deserves.
We never could come to a answer before Lacey left us on January 28th, 2010. My family came home only to find more community support as another benefit was held at Lake Camelot on the 30th of January. One day before Lacey’s 26th birthday. We called it a celebration of a life. Thinking no one would show because of the sadness of her passing, we were greatly surprised when once again we had a room filled with pure love of Lacey and our family.
We sent her to God’s hands in an overflowing church and again the thought is how do we say thank you. We wrote Lacey’s name on the bottom of the cards given to us by the funeral home I knew more was needed. As the group funneled down to just a few an idea started to develop. A idea that has stuck with us and we have begun to work with community groups to see if we can give more to the community than take from them. Along with that try to raise some money to enable us to help other families that are battling a illness without insurance to ease the stress going on in their lives.