Lauren

My Story is about My dad, Bob

 

This event took place from 09/01/2016 to 10/26/2017

 

The Discovery

My dad, Bob, was having stomach pain for a few months. He went to the doctor and didn’t have a conclusive answer. Eventually, he had pancreatitis. He had an exploratory surgery to look for a tumor, which the surgeon did not believe was found. However, they did determine that he had pancreatic cancer after a final biopsy. It was a frustrating process, and we were never given a clear diagnosis until it was much later.

 

This is My Story

My family and I were amazed at how little funding, research, detection, and treatment options existed for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was apparent very quickly. We came together and turned the grief of our dad’s death into energy and movement.

We launched The Reaumond Foundation a year after my dad’s passing. The foundation was established to provide research grants to doctors and comprehensive cancer centers focused on cutting edge research to combat the effects of the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

Additionally, The Reaumond Foundation was established to provide financial assistance to families recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The financial and emotional burden can be overwhelming and our foundation seeks to help those dealing with this deadly disease. Patients have a simple application process and have used funds for treatment, parking, transportation, groceries, rent, and other daily expenses that are often so impacted by pancreatic cancer.
In 2021, The Reaumond Foundation set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 to provide subsidized housing to patients seeking extended care for pancreatic cancer at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas – the nation’s top hospital for cancer care. With the help of our generous donors, we were able to purchase and furnish our first home, which is within walking distance from MD Anderson, in December of 2021.

Homes of Hope aims to ease the financial burden of housing, provide better access to the nation’s top cancer hospitals, and provide a “home away from home” to families during their most difficult days.
Our foundation is our way of using our dad’s legacy as a vehicle for change and better outcomes.

 

The Impact of Time

The gift of time is so present in our story. My dad did very well with chemo treatment at first, and was able to enjoy much of his time with my mom and my three other siblings. He traveled to his other home in Arizona, exercised, enjoyed time with friends, and had a higher quality of life than you would expect with someone with this diagnosis.

My (now) husband and I had gotten engaged about two months before this diagnosis. We had a set plan to get married a year and a half after our engagement. My dad’s oncologist was pretty frank with us, and it was recommended to move the wedding up to a much closer date. We planned our wedding in two months. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made, as my dad was fully present at our wedding and in good health. It greatly shifted my priorities, and it was a “life lesson” that will be with my forever. It became so clear to me that our greatest gift is family and time spent together, and the rest is truly just noise.

It hasn’t even been five years since my father has passed. I often say it’s the shortest and longest time, as so much has changed. My husband and I are about to welcome our third child. In a very cliche way, my dad’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis serves a constant reminder that our time is finite and doesn’t wait for anyone. The buzzing thought that my dad has not met any of my children (or the three other grandchildren in our family) feels unbearable, cruel, and unfair in every way.
There will never be a day that I consider my dad’s death as a gift or a blessing. However, it changed me in ways that have made me a better person and shifted my outlook on life in such a meaningful way.

 

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