Friday, October 01, 2010

31 Days of Service and Love - Day 1- HealthWell Foundation

Sandy and 3 of her cuter grandsons (my nephews)

Today was the funeral of Sandy Gresko, the mother of my brother-in-law, mother-in-law to my sister, grandmother to my nephews, and friend to my family. She lost a well-fought, but losing battle to cancer at the age of 60.

Sandy was kind to everyone. I have some very fond memories of her. A few years ago when I was plagued with [what we thought at the time were] kidney stones, and was stuck in bed, in massive pain and on all sorts of painkillers, she was my angel. I was new to the area, and had no friends or family to help me. My sister, Natalie, wanted to do something to help me. So she called Sandy and asked her to bring me dinner on Natalie's behalf. We both expected her to show up with McDonald's, or just a portion of her family's dinner. Instead she showed up with a month's worth of groceries and some fun magazines. She told me, "I thought 'what would I want if I was stuck in bed?' and the answer was tabloids! So here you go!" She insisted on making me dinner, tucking me into bed, and cleaning my house before she left. I was so sick at that point I couldn't even walk from room to room. She had to "tuck me in" on the couch, because I was in too much pain to walk up the stairs to my room. That night of kindness meant more to me than anyone will ever know.

Another time, years before that, a girlfriend of mine had a crush on a guy she met online. The guy got sick, and my friend wanted to do something nice for him. She knew his address, and we knew he lived near my sister. So we called Natalie to see if she would take him some chicken soup. She was too busy, but suggested that Sandy might be available, and called her. Sandy, the mother of 2 daughters, and the ultimate girlfriend, was more than happy to. She made some homemade chicken noodle soup and put it in a cute little basket and delivered it to a man she didn't know for a girl she didn't know. That's the kind of nice and fun that Sandy was.

Sandy's 60th Birthday- taken last week, just before she died
And so it is my privilege to be able to spend my first day of the 31 Days of Service on Sandy. On her behalf, I'd like to tell you about the HealthWell Foundation.

The HealthWell Foundation is a charity that helps individuals (with insurance) who are fighting chronic or life-altering medical conditions (like cancer) and cannot afford their copayments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments.They make sure people don't avoid getting the medical help they need because they can't afford it.

This organization paid for all of Sandy's co-pays during her nearly 2 year battle with lung cancer. Can you imagine being diagnosed with lung cancer (after several mis-diagnoses), not knowing how long you will be sick for? Not knowing how sick you will be? And not knowing how you will pay for it? For my act of service today I want you to know about the HealthWell Foundation and all of the good that they can do. And I want to thank them for all that they did for the Gresko Family, by covering Sandy's co-pays, and bringing her that peace of mind, in an already emotionally and physically difficult period.

The Gresko Family


  1. Anonymous12:04 AM

    Sisty Ugler Here,

    Thank you for doing this. Sandy was the ultimate example of selflessness. Her home, was your home. She made it a point to make everyone comfortable and at peace.

    If there were ever a charity someone could donate to, it is the Health Well Foundation. They are the real deal. They brought peace to Sandy and they continue to bring peace to thousands more.

  2. Erin, Thank you, thank you, thank you,. You have no idea how your words have brought so much comfort to me and my sister. I continue to follow you as you go on this 31 days.


  3. That is beautiful! Sandy leaves a beautiful legacy of service and love! I am so glad to have known her and enjoyed her love. . .


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