It's Time To Pay It Forward: Helping A Family Battling Cancer

A Framingham family is in dire need. Can you help?

I’m a “serial helper.”  I can’t change that.  When I see a need, I want to help, even if it means neglecting other things I should be doing, like the laundry.

I’m also the type of person who works madly through the day, and then looks back in defeat at what’s still left on the to-do list rather than what I've accomplished.  It’s a very bad combination, and it makes me slightly neurotic.

Last night I went to our , and I saw the parents of a new kindergartener, who was in my daughter’s preschool class the year before last.  I didn’t know them well, but I knew back then that the mom, Kris Burke, was fighting breast cancer.  She seemed to be doing well and I didn’t know enough of her story for my “helper radar” to kick in and identify an opportunity to get involved.

But at last night’s PTO meeting, my friend mentioned that there was a recent news article about this new kindergarten family, and that they were in fear of imminent foreclosure on their home.  Kris had lost her job as a teacher at , and with it – her health insurance.  Beep-beep-beep.  My radar was on high-alert.

But then a little voice in my head (one of many), said, “You can’t help them in any way that will matter. You can’t pay their mortgage. You can’t buy them a car. There are so many people in need. Just give up.”

I made a donation anyway, but the mercury on the thermometer didn’t move very far.

For my day job I work as a door hardware consultant, and one of my duties is to write on my blog – iDigHardware.com

Today, I decided to silence that little voice and reach out to the people who read my blog and ask for their help on behalf of the Burke family. On an average day that would mean a potential for about 1,500 people to read this family’s story.

Within an hour or so I saw several of my blog readers on the donor list.  It worked!  But there was still a long way to go to reach the $25,000 goal. 

So I posted a link to my blog on Facebook, Twitter, and emailed it to a whole bunch of my friends from school. Within minutes I saw some of those friends on the donor list, and in the past 10 hours there have been $5,000 in contributions.

Now what? 

Now I need your help to share this story. If for every 10 people who read it, 1 contribution is made, based on the average contribution that means we need to share it with 2,329 more people. Ten years ago that would have been difficult.  Now it can be done in minutes. 

This family needs our help.  I know, a lot of people need help.  But if we look at the to-do list and see who we’re unable to help, rather than helping who we can, we will miss this opportunity to save a Framingham family from an unthinkable situation - terminal cancer AND the threat of losing their home.

You might be thinking, “I’d like to help, but what I can afford won’t make a difference.”  Trust me, IT WILL.  It IS worth donating that dollar, or $5, or $10.  Throw away that to-do list – stop looking at what isn’t done and look at what’s been accomplished!  We can’t do everything, but we can do something.

If you’re ready to help, here are some ways to support this family:

  • Visit my blog and read about the Burke family and their struggle.
  • or the blog post via Facebook, Twitter, email, or any other way you can spread the word.  You can also join the Facebook group Keeping Kris Strong to show your support.
  • If you can, make a donation of any amount via WePay.com
  • If you’re willing to cook a family dinner and deliver it to their home on Highgate Road, or if you are able to transport Kris to a medical appointment, visit LotsaHelpingHands.com and join the community called “Keeping Kris Strong.”  Once you join (it’s free), you will be able to sign up for specific dates and times to help out. 
  • Watch for information about fundraising efforts to take place later this fall.


Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

Anything you can do is appreciated.  Many hands make light work.

- Lori

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan Petroni September 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I just clicked on the link and it worked: But here is a direct link: https://www.wepay.com/donations/137225?fb_comment_id=fbc_10151001017149011_23391919_10151063674394011nate#f2393520aa1d36
Susan Petroni September 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
here is a link: http://framingham.patch.com/blog_posts/its-time-to-pay-it-forward-helping-a-family-battling-cancer
Lori Greene September 10, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Hi Andy - I'm not having trouble with the WePay link so you may want to try that one again, but the link to my blog is not working because of the GoDaddy hack attack. The LotsaHelpingHands site seems to be down too. At least I'm in good company - with thousands of other websites. :(
Lori Greene September 10, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Hi Lynn - My blog was registered through GoDaddy and I'm guessing the LotsaHelpingHands site may have been also. This afternoon there was a wide-scale attack on the GoDaddy servers, and there are thousands of websites that are inaccessible. If you don't mind, please try again later.
John Sullivan September 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Link seems to be working! Almost at the half-way point for fund-raising. Thanks for organizing this!


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