Diving in head (and heart) first

It’s not often that our Seas It team gets to meet grant recipients in person. Amanda was lucky enough to meet Marie, a young mother of 4 children and Stage IV Pancreatic cancer patient, this summer.  What struck Amanda the first time she met Marie was her positivity and warm smile. Marie was first diagnosed in 2013 and faced her second bout in 2014. Yes, Marie has cancer. But, cancer certainly hasn’t defined Marie or held her back from embracing life.

With help from her daughter, we realized that a yearly membership to the Aquatic Center at Monmouth University would allow Marie to swim on a regularly basis. Marie was looking for a healthy exercise regime to combat some of the side effects from her treatments: the stiffness, the aches, and the fatigue. Marie was kind enough to share her experiences with us:

“Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. The Seas It foundation you have established in Todd’ s memory has helped others and me fighting cancer. I am a firm believer that his spirit lives in every one of us fighting Cancer. Thank you and SEAS IT for helping me get back to my “old self” or I should say “new normal”. The pool membership is a reminder that I still have a life to live and I have to get stronger in order to live it.”

Marie and her daughter enjoying a night out

Marie and her daughter enjoying a night out


The Cross-Fit Cure

Almost two years ago, Seas It received a Patient & Caregiver Grant application from Kellie, a young woman battling Stage 3 Colon Cancer. We worked on fulfilling Kellie’s grant but before we could complete it, she let us know the grant would have to be postponed until she felt strong enough to exercise and had more time to recover from her intensive surgeries.

In September during one of those “small world, happenstance” moments, Amanda ran into Kellie in NYC.  Kellie was feeling better and recovering from her treatments. It was time for her to get back on track!

Amanda&Kellie

 

With help from the generous folks at Cross-Fit Mount Laurel, Seas It was able to provide Kellie and her husband a 6-month family membership. They have found renewed energy and healing at Cross-Fit Mount Laurel and enjoy working out with their trainers who understand the grueling effects of chemotherapy and cancer recovery. Stay strong, Kellie and Billy. Seas It is in your corner!

KellieWebb


Seas It Grant Recipients, Marisa & Bryan, share their story

On November 15, 2013, a little less than five months after our wedding, Bryan was diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem glioma. We spent the rest of 2013 and the better part of 2014 visiting hospitals, getting educated about brain cancer, making big choices about doctors and treatment, and actually going through treatment. It was a whirlwind honeymoon period to say the least.

Bryanandmarisa

Almost a year later, we are gearing up for Bryan’s first cancerversary. The first year was focused on treatment, but as we move into our second year, we are really focused on reclaiming our lives.

 On September 27th, we attended Stupid Cancer’s OMG Summit, our first cancer event. It was amazing – we met so many wonderful people, picked up new knowledge from the sessions, laughed a little bit, and made a really great connection. We met Amanda McGovern, the founder of Seas It.

In the first few minutes of meeting her, we felt a strong connection. Hearing her story, we realized there were quite a few parallels. We decided to apply for a Seas It grant and were accepted.

Bryan used to be an avid bike rider. He commuted to work on his super sporty road bike and often rode in the park to release stress and get exercise. After his diagnosis, that stopped. One of Bryan’s side effects is that he struggles with his balance. He no longer felt comfortable riding his road bike because the tires were so narrow and he felt unstable. He thought about investing in a bike with wider tires, but after the year we’ve had, it didn’t seem financially feasible. When we met Amanda, Bryan knew exactly what he would ask for if we were able to get the grant. About two weeks after we spoke on the phone with Amanda, she delivered a brand new, amazing hybrid bike with wide tires to our door step, along with an indoor bike trainer so that he can ride in the winter months! Bryan took it out for a spin the moment he got it and loves it. He is so motivated to get back into shape, and has a goal of being able to ride to work again one day.

 bryanbike

So often, the caregiver is forgotten, but not with Seas It. The organization approved a grant for me too. It has been so long since someone asked what I needed. It felt really good to think about that. Yoga has been a very expensive hobby that I love because it provides me with balance. It is a time that is just for me, and that is important. Seas It got me a very generous class pass for my favorite yoga studio, so that slowly but surely, I can begin to get back to myself.

Marisayoga

As I mentioned before, we will be focusing on reclaiming our lives this year, and Seas It has kick started that for us. We could not be more grateful.