Giving the Gift of Fun and Laughter

Faces of CourageCAIR Flight and Faces of Courage coordinated their efforts to bring days of fun and laughter to these cancer survivors from Atlanta. The women participated with 88 others in a weekend retreat at Rotary Camp Florida in Brandon, FL. Working together these two Tampa-based 501(c)3 organizations allowed Anna and Carolyn to make the journey and reap the rewards of the weekend hosted by Faces of Courage—a nonprofit cancer patient support organization. Both CAIR Flight and Faces of Courage provide their services free of charge.

Anna, wife and mother of three boys ages 9, 11, and 13, is still undergoing daily radiation treatments after her surgery in late July. Numerous times she said, “I really, really need this.” She added, “I feel so blessed by the people who have been in my life to help me through this journey. This weekend is an opportunity to put the treatment and pressures behind me for a few days.”

When asked what the weekend meant to her Anna said, “It has been life changing. I now know that as I continue my PhD, I want to focus on health and nutrition. I have learned so much from my own experience and I want to be able to help others. I want to make a mark that cannot be erased . . .”

The weekend was jam packed with diverse activities. Carolyn said, “We had fun and laughed, we danced, we decorated flip flops, and we were silly. We got to relax from the stress of our current challenges.”

Anna and Carolyn both commented on the beautiful women that they met and were awed by their strength and courage. “We all felt like sisters—no matter the race or creed. We have a common denominator. Women share from their experience, offer support, and encouragement. There is no pretence or shame. I have taken a more holistic and naturopathic approach than many. I love sharing what has been so helpful to me,” Anna said.
(L) Anna and Carolyn—ready for their flight home.

Peggy Sherry, Faces of Courage founder, shows her passion and love to each attendee. Her dedicated team of volunteers managed a multitude of details including food, activities, gift bags, and a safe haven of love.

Many thanks to the CAIR Flight pilots who made these missions a reality—Gray Sample and co-pilot Greg DeNome; Arnie Glauser and new co-pilot Marty Brink.

Faces of Courage staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing free programs emphasizing practical education; life coping strategies; and improved self esteem; through non-threatening, engaging recreation. The primary goal is to help the cancer patient navigate their way through the treatment process and to thrive as a survivor.

Programs are made possible through the generous support of corporate sponsors, individual donors, grants, fundraisers, and bequests. Visit www.facesofcourage.org, call (813) 877-CAMP (2267), or email psherry@facesofcourage.org for more information on upcoming events.
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