Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Mountains of hope
I always knew we lived in a very special place, but over the past few years, I have been even more overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the Vail Valley, especially the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. We are truly lucky to live here.
Several years ago, I received the devastating news that I had Stage I breast cancer and immediately underwent a double mastectomy and began aggressive chemotherapy at the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards. If the emotional toll of the news of cancer wasn’t enough, then chemotherapy is usually the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
My life was flashing red. All my thoughts went to my family and our little 5-year-old boy, Nico. But our community rallied — from babysitting, meal trains, and financial support from various charities including the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. We couldn’t be more thankful for the love and support of our amazing community. In April 2018, I had received a clean bill of health and everything appeared to be fine again.
However, later on that year while taking a much-needed vacation with my family, I received a notification that my recent blood work showed some irregularities. We immediately headed home and then to the Shaw Cancer Center for more and more tests. The results were more devastating than before. The cancer had aggressively returned and was more advanced — Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. It had spread to various other locations in my body and there was no known cure. A summer filled with family, love, and fun came to an abrupt end.
Again, in an instant, my life had changed from love and enjoyment to fear and even the unthinkable. I immediately began treatment at the Shaw Cancer Center and had various other doctor visits in Denver. I knew I had a long road to recovery, though I was determined to fight for a long time.
The battle to fight cancer is hard enough, but the financial burden is also very real and weighed heavily on our family. Then we were introduced to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, which immediately stepped up and provided financial relief that we never thought we would need. The fund provided us with a significant direct aid grant that cleared most of our immediate medical bills, deductibles, and other foreseen medical expenses. For this, our family couldn’t be more thankful.
Battling cancer takes everything you have — mentally, spiritually, physically, and so much more. Removing the financial worry has allowed me to focus on my battle with all my determination and positive energy. I continue to believe that I have a bright, healthy future with my family and our amazing community thanks to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.
Dani Abramowitz is a Vail Valley Charitable Fund grant recipient. Find out more about the VVCF’s mission at http://vvcf.org/.