My wife, Stephanie, and I live near Dayton, Ohio. We have 6 children, 15 grandchildren and now 1 great grandchild.
Over many years, God has led me to come up long side and help others in more ways than I could have ever imagined. For the first several years, I didn’t realize I was going where He led me. However, through prayer and as I became more mature in my years, I realize my identity and joy is not with my job as an Aircraft Mechanic or Supervisor involved in Acquisition Management of Military aircraft. It is doing God’s will in helping others.
In those early years, I didn’t know that my dad and sister would one day pass with Lung cancer from smoking. I also didn’t know that in 2005, I would hear the doctor tell me that I had Prostate Cancer. I don’t know what caused it, whether it was from being exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam, some other environmental exposure or it just happened. All I know for sure is; Praise God, I am now an 8 year survivor.
The way in which Cancer Companions was presented to me nearly two years ago, by Dan Held, a Pastor at Sulphur Grove UMC, in Huber Heights Ohio, I knew immediately this was a “God Thing” and I was suppose to somehow be involved. At that time, I didn’t realize I would soon meet Karen Tripp, become a Cancer Companion and now become the Southern Ohio Regional Representative.
I am honored to be a part of Cancer Companions and hope I can be an Ambassador for this wonderful ministry for many years to come.
PS One of my favorite Bible passages related to working with and helping each other is Exodus 17:8-13.
To contact Larry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a child of God and have been loving Him and following Him since I was 16. Throughout my life, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has led me through some difficult times. I have experienced illness, death of a grandchild and child and various other losses. I have felt His presence throughout these events. However, I have also felt various emotions such as anger, despondency, and fear. Through His Holy Spirit, God has comforted me. I, likewise, want to comfort others in His name.
In the last few years my ex-husband succumbed to lung cancer and my best girlfriend died of breast cancer. Currently a girlfriend is fighting the battle against breast cancer. Each time, I felt that I could have done more to ‘be there’ for them. This program gives me the tools, the support and the knowledge of how to minister to someone facing all of the issues involved in having this diagnosis.
I became a nurse in 1967 and worked in the clinical setting until 1978 when I became a nurse educator and taught nursing in various schools/colleges of nursing. After my retirement, I began teaching on a part-time basis. I am married to another of God’s sons and live happily with our cat Callie. We have 5 children in our ‘blended’ family and 3 grandchildren.
To contact Marilyn, email her at email@example.com
My career has been a winding road that led me to numerous opportunities to support and care for other people. I have been a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ for many years and as such I have a heart to assist others. As a certified counselor I have worked with middle school students, high school students with disabilities, and with adults that receive court mandated group counseling for domestic violence issues. As a school administrator I have worked with students and families from the position of assistant principal and as a secondary principal for fifteen years. All of these experiences have helped me to grow a mindset for deeper compassion and concern that is necessary to help people find a better path for their lives.
This journey became even more intensified in the fall of 2013 when I was diagnosed with stage IV head and neck cancer. Shortly after my condition was identified I underwent surgery to remove two tumors at the base of my tongue and 28 lymph nodes in my neck. At this point, I also began the difficult treatment plan that involved chemotherapy and radiation therapy over the course of approximately two months. This was a tremendously difficult time in my life that seemed to get harder and harder as the months progressed. As such, my faith was more necessary and more evident to me than ever before. But as timed passed, this hardship I was enduring became understood by me as an opportunity that would draw me even closer to the will and love of Jesus. My prayers would become more intense and his love for me would somehow become more evident as I came to feel his presence daily. As I healed I came to realize that my cancer was disguised as an opportunity to let the Lord use my life in a way that I had never intended. I never thought that cancer would grant me the chance to help others in a way that I had not previously been able to do.
As I have continuously called upon the Lord to use my heart and experiences for his sake, I have embarked on a journey to continue to support and care for others through the blessing of Cancer Companions. God is truly a father who will lead us to his will and I firmly believe that this organization is a calling that he has in store for my life.
To contact Duane, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I retired in 2014 after a 40 year career in insurance with the intent to pay back God for all he has given me utilizing my God given talents. I am very excited to join Cancer Companions to use those talents. My wife and I have experienced cancer with both my parents, her sister, my uncle plus me.
In 2013 I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, had surgery but unfortunately some cancer remained in my body. My wife and I decided to get several opinions on our next step. We finally decided to travel to a very hot and humid Sarasota, FL last summer for 3 months of specialized radiation and hormone therapy. Before leaving for Florida the Founder of a Church ministry I volunteer gathered all of our 54 guests in the room around me, hands on my shoulder and prayed for my safekeeping. I had never experienced such a powerful feeling until the day of my last (46) treatment of radiation in October. The car packed up and leaving the Cancer Center, I pulled out of the parking space we had parked every day for almost 3 months. I had no more than pulled out, and what appeared before our eyes but a beautiful rainbow. The problem was it wasn’t and hadn’t rained anywhere around us. We immediately stopped the car looked at each other with tears in our eyes. Something told us this was a strong sign that I was going to be ok. Six months after my treatments I am cancer free. What a powerful time in both our lives. I feel all of our different struggles with cancer will help me as I work with people who need God’s help and comfort through Cancer Companions.
I am also actively involved in 2 prostate cancer support groups. In addition I am a Career Coach for a ministry called Passport to Employment. I do weekly workshops and do one on one counseling with the un/under employed, teaching them job search techniques.
To contact John, email him at email@example.com
In the hills and hollers of Kentucky, you will find Justin and Shawna Wood homesteading and raising their six kids, ducks, chickens, and sometimes cows, goats, and sheep. Justin and Shawna are educators and have taught in private and public schools, and now homeschool. Currently, they operate an online business and work as marketing coaches to small business owners.
Justin and Shawna have been in an “arranged” marriage for 12 years. (Feel free to ask them about that story some time!). Although both from Kentucky, they met overseas while working in Ethiopia.
Shawna – an extrovert and self-proclaimed “people person” – also enjoys coaching parents and teachers on ways to improve their relationships with kids and decrease misbehavior. She draws heavily from the lessons learned parenting their six biological children as well as multiple foster children. In her “downtime”, she enjoys reading and doing projects with her husband and kids.
Justin overcame leukemia as a child. He is a husband, dad, teacher, worship leader, writer, hunter, and permaculturist. His favorite job is chasing kids.
Justin and Shawna’s heart desire is to see restoration and healing through relationships with God, other people and the land. The entire family likes to travel, but is equally happy to be at home where they garden, eat blueberries and blackberries straight from the vine, and skip rocks on the pond.
To Contact Justin and Shawna email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg is the Senior Pastor with Hamilton Square Baptist Church.
To contact Greg, email him at Greg@cancer-companions.org