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Harvest of Hope

Author: Karen Shepard, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, 1/2/2014 8:00:00 AM

Harvest of Hope

Our Christmas cooking crew was one short this season, temporarily sidelined by the ongoing rigor of her cancer treatments, but just as we have fought her cancer as a family, so are we all collectively forging ahead in the kitchen.

Over the past five years my husband and I have seen how one's normal life is disrupted by cancer with four family members and a dear friend subjected to rigorous treatments and the various side effects that occur and continue after the treatments are complete.

During the many hours spent in the cancer treatment waiting rooms we became aware of a significant number of cancer patients that did not have the advantage of support systems or even healthy meals. Through these experiences we became aware of Harvest of Hope, a meal planning and food supply program through St. Charles Cancer Center which helps cancer-fighting families prepare balanced meals for patients in their own homes.

The brainchild of some dear and generous friends, Harvest of Hope, accepts specific food items and cash donations in order to supply cancer patients with healthy food choices that simplify meal planning, shopping and preparing balanced meals at home.

I am very fortunate to work with a leadership and administrative team who put our patients' needs first in all that we do at St. Charles. In lieu of Christmas gifts to them, we have made a cash contribution in their name to Harvest of Hope so our cancer patients and their families have nutritious food choices, meal-planning assistance and a break from the burden of food shopping.

For more information about Harvest of Hope and how you can support this program please call 541-706-5800.

Karen Shepard is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for St. Charles Health System. Her husband, Brian Bell, is a community volunteer.