My father died in 2004. I was thirty-two years old and lost in the pain and confusion of the end of my marriage. So much so I kept it a secret from my dad in his dying days. I had arrived at a point in my life where my father was more a friend and less a parent. He was someone I could call to work out a DIY issue or talk about the Dolphins’ game. He was my bud, and after a two-year battle with Cancer, he was gone.

My relationship with my mother has always been more formal. I love her to death, but our personalities don’t exactly mesh. She – inadvertently¬†– pushes my buttons. I – rather predictably – lose my cool. It’s a relationship that is made better by geographic distance.

I honestly do wish I could turn the corner and make my relationship with my mom a better one. I wish I could have conversations with her like I used to with my dad, and with my impending move to the Dominican Republic, it’s going to be interesting how our relationship will manage with an even greater distance between us.

Map

It’s for this reason I am in awe of my friend Kim Randall and the persistent determination and fight she’s maintained regarding her mother’s health issues. Kim’s mom Carol has been in the hospital since November of 2017. Diagnosed with a tumor and having to undergo an amputation, the last six months for Carol have been painful, grueling, and exhausting. It’s been no different for Kim who has been by her mother’s side since day one.

Kim has been an unrelenting¬†advocate for her mother’s best interest in terms of current healthcare needs and future healthcare plans. Kim has fought through bureaucracy, policy limits, and administrative mistakes on the part of healthcare providers. Through the days that became weeks that became months, Kim has devoted her energies to ensuring her mother is properly cared for, all the while still working to meet the needs of her customers and her business.

I know for many people, what Kim has done and continued to do for her mom is common sense. I know we each should be fiercely committed to the well being of our parents, and I like to think I would do the same for my mom. Still, there is something ‘above and beyond’ I see with Kim. The way she honors her mother with all she does leaves me in sheer amazement. It’s heartwarming. It’s inspiring. It’s standard-setting.

Unfortunately, it’s not without heartache. There is a new hurdle Kim and Carol need to overcome, and it’s pursuing advanced care in St. Louis. To excerpt from Kim’s post on Facebook:

As y’all know this has been a long, bumpy, & downright terrifying road that seems to never end. The next path she needs to take is one that leads her to St. Louis to be treated inpatient at Saint Louis University Cancer Center for cancer treatment.

Yesterday we were told that her cancer is a stage 4b endometrial adenocarcinoma. The treatment she needs is unavailable here in Tampa, we don’t know why facilities here haven’t accepted her, but we are grateful that we have found one that will.

The Struggle: She requires medical transport with the maximum cost of $15,000. It might be more, might be a little less. We have been trying every avenue to come up with this on our own, but it is impossible to find this kind of money as quickly as we need it.

So with that, I’d like to share the GoFundMe page Kim has set up for her mother, and I invite you to contribute to this fundraiser. I understand there are many people who have varying needs, and it’s easy to get lost in the notion that everyone is asking for money. However, if you’re reading this, it’s likely you can forego a Starbucks visit and chip in $5. Perhaps you skip a visit to Chik-fil-A and pitch in $10. These dollar amounts seem small, but when multiplied over and over they add up quickly.

Please keep Carol Randall in your prayers and do your part in sharing the GFM page with your circle of friends. It’s my prayer Kim’s love for her mother be rewarded by seeing her mom get to St. Louis and receive the treatment she needs.

Thank you.

Fundraising for Mrs. Carol Randall!

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