“Just working and pushing myself towards this goal had changed me in ways I couldn’t believe; I never got the chance to thank [Cindy] for that. This whole experience has changed my outlook on life and taught me to really appreciate it. I now strive to use all my time here to further or better the lives of others. I am also more sympathetic to people around me and have learned to open my eyes: everyone around me has some kind of story and some kind of struggle. Now that I see this I can better relate and open up to them. It’s really hard to describe how much Cindy taught me, though I hadn’t ever met her before.”
Helen Slivinski, a Sophomore at South Lakes High School, began her International Baccalaureate (IB) program service project knowing that she wanted it to benefit a good cause, and that she would incorporate her passion for performing arts. Helen’s projects to raise money and awareness include long term t-shirt and pin sales and culminate in a performing arts benefit show on March 20th. The campaign is branded “Think Love,” a theme and design created by Helen for the project.
Helen’s dance teacher, also her sponsor for the project, told her about a friend of a friend, Cindy Martin, who was struggling to pay for her cancer treatment. Cindy worked as a hairdresser in Helen’s community, and was known to be a friend to everyone she met. Cindy had no health insurance, so when she was diagnosed with brain cancer in August of 2010, she had no idea how she would pay for treatment. By the time Helen found Cindy, she was battling the remaining 10% of her malignant tumor, as well as a wave of overwhelming medical bills. With her sponsor’s guidance, Helen decided that the proceeds from the fundraiser would be used to offset Cindy’s treatment costs.
“Everyone at the fundraiser had some strange connection to the both of us and affected our lives indirectly. It was so strange: I don’t think I could describe it in words except to just call it fate. “
As preparations were being made for the benefit show, they received horrible news. On February 23rd, Ms. Martin passed away. She caught pneumonia, and her immune system was too weak to handle the disease and the treatment.
“It was devastating to find out that all my work was unnecessary. I was too late to help her. I didn’t even have a chance to meet her.”
According to the family’s wishes, the total raised after the benefit show will be split evenly between Imerman Angels and the National Brain Tumor Society. Helen’s hope for the show is to raise awareness and create a sense of closure for Cindy’s friends and family. Imerman Angels is lucky to have supporters like Helen. The thoughtfulness and effort invested in this project is truly inspiring. The “Think Love” benefit show, upcoming on March 20th, will include performances by students and local professionals. If you live in or around Washington DC, we strongly encourage you to attend! The show will take place at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Dr, Reston, VA 20191).
Imerman Angels is a young, exciting, grassroots nonprofit organization that provides 1-on-1 cancers support to cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers living anywhere in the world.
We are looking for help from skilled and fun people to support our fast-paced growth and provide assistance to our staff, volunteers and executives.
We are currently on the search for 2 interns and a lead for our Events Committee. Please visit the link below for more details.
Imerman Angels hosts an Ice Cream Social every month at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, special thanks to Berry Chill for donating yogurt every month!! The nurses and patients love seeing us! It’s also a great opportunity to be exposed to so many people who can benefit from our 1-on-1 cancer support, people who may have never heard about IA or what we do. I love to spend time talking with cancer fighters and their families, so I try to volunteer at any event which allows me to interact with these amazing people! Here’s an email I sent to the IA Crew/Committee Heads after last month’s ice cream social. It really makes you realize what a wonderful organization Imerman Angels is and what an awesome job the crew in the office is doing on a daily basis! Kudos!!!
Hey IA Crew!!!!!
Just HAD to tell you about our day today at the Ice Cream Social!!! Phil Chang, Jonny and I were there and we met a few cancer fighters, their families and the wonderful staff. The staff was AMAZING, as usual! They love to see us AND are so knowledgeable about IA…..LOVE it!!! The one lady the really made a huge impression on us was very lost, not knowing what to do. Her husband was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and she has NO idea what to do…is STILL trying to digest the news. I’ve been through that, not understanding what exactly is going on, not really believing it, not knowing who to turn to or what to do and most of all, not knowing how you are going to live without this person in your life. We’ve all been through these emotions, WE know what she is going through. This is why we do what we do and this is why Imerman Angels is SO important to everyone who is affected by cancer, caregivers included. I have NO doubt this woman will contact us, Jonny and I both gave her our cards with our cell phone numbers, because we ARE there for her, we DO geniunely care….that’s what Imerman Angels is all about. We’re there to lift her up, there to show her love and support and to let her know she is NOT alone, even though she feels that way right now. Her and her husband have been together since they were 19 years old, he’s the only love she’s ever known. It has always been just the two of them, no children. I know, in my heart, we were there for a reason….it was NOT a mistake Imerman Angels was there today. To hug this woman and feel how grateful she is that we care, that a wonderful organization like Imerman Angels even exists was overwhelming……I cannot express how proud I am to be a part of this amazing organization!!! THIS is why we do what we do on a daily basis!!!!
Outreach Committee Chair
Imerman Angels has the best volunteers and, tonight, we will be showing them how glad we are for all that they do! Our squad will be celebrating our 2009 successes and 2010 plans at Bull & Bear in Chicago with light apps and drinks. For everyone who cannot make it and has supported IA this year: THANK YOU. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
To get involved, contact Rynell Cook at Imerman Angels. Our next Volunteer Committee Meeting is January 19th.
Want to join our volunteer task force? We will be having a meeting for new volunteers on Monday the 14th at 6pm. IA volunteers do anything from schmoozing at events to managing some of our important projects. It is a fun way to put your skills to work, benefitting others along the way and meeting new people.
Contact the IA Office for more details!