My husband John and I joined Old Pine in 1995. John grew up Catholic and always had faith, but I was raised without any religion at all. I was curious about his faith and wanted to find out more about Christianity, so we tried to find a church where we would both feel comfortable. I was baptized here at the age of 30, which was an amazing experience. Later both of our girls, Nora and Jill, were baptized in the same sanctuary.
Over time, I began to develop my own personal faith in God. But it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer (in 2012) that this faith became truly real for me. I can remember sitting in bed after enduring another chemotherapy treatment. In the pain and exhaustion, I would close my eyes and pray. This is when I felt Jesus come into my heart and give me a feeling of comfort unlike anything I’d ever had before.
I wonder sometimes why I was diagnosed with cancer and also why I was allowed to survive and be cancer-free. Some of my friends were not so lucky. All I know is that I feel an obligation now to help other women who are facing this illness. I want them to know that you can survive and even thrive with this diagnosis. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence.