As moms, we always want to clean up messes and leave our house in order before we go on a journey.
My good friend Susan Kidwell is hoping to do that as she heads into her final days of battling cancer. She has fought long and hard and endured physical and emotional pain. She has held on because she wants to be there for her family.
Last year, when melanoma cancer spread to her brain, we all hoped and prayed she would live long enough to see her son, Alan Jr., graduate from Del Oro High School. She was given a new chemotherapy drug that kept the cancer at bay for nine months. Not only did she see him graduate, but she was able to give him a party and see him off to college.
Susan hoped for two more years so she could shepherd her daughter, Carly, through her high school years. But that was not to be.
Susan’s illness and treatment has financially devastated the family. Her husband, Alan Kidwell Sr., has taken a lot of time off work and, even with medical insurance, the costs for medications and deductibles are high.
We can’t make this family tragedy go away, but we can support them through this terrible time and we can give Susan the peace of knowing her family will be cared for.
I asked Alan Sr. in the past if there was something the community could do for them financially and he has declined help, but not now.
“I had my dignity then, my pride. I lost that a few months ago,” Alan Kidwell Sr. told me on Monday.
Cancer will do that to you.
For those of you who don’t know Susan, I can tell you she is a great mom, a good wife and a loyal and supportive friend. She has been happy to volunteer and pitch in and help in whatever her children were involved in such as Girl Scouts, Loomis Basin Dolphins swim team and other sports. She has a snappy sense of humor and often can get a whole room full of her friends laughing.
When I visited her last week and asked her how she was doing, she wryly said, “Well, I’m still breathing.”
Last week, she was able to use an iPad to follow donations and messages that are coming in to help her family. It brought her much needed joy.
“Oh, we got another donation,” she said happily, as her husband marveled at the generosity of our community.
“It’s just really been amazing – many of these people don’t even know us,” Alan Sr. said.
This week, as his wife’s condition declines, Alan Sr. has been able to tell Susan about the donations and messages they are receiving. The news gives her peace.
Please, help give Susan and her family peace and help her leave her house in order as she departs home and embarks on her final journey.
Online donations can be made at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/4OJM3; checks to First United Methodist Church, with “Kidwell Family Fund” in the memo can be dropped off at the Del Oro High School office or at the church.