From time to time Focus 360 will include profiles of people and organizations making a difference in our community. It is not known whether those profiled approve or disapprove of Regency Investment Advisors or its advisory services provided. This article reflects the opinions of those interviewed and should not be taken as a request for you to donate to any particular organization.
Parenting — raising the kids day in, day out — is challenging enough. You’re their provider, their nursemaid. Their counselor, their ear. Their source of make-it-better hugs and of unconditional love. Many say it’s one of life’s greatest joys while remaining a perpetual and unrelenting challenge. The world’s toughest job.
So imagine boosting the difficulty a bit by going it alone. You’re still responsible for the kids hour-to-hour and year-to-year. But the respites you might expect from a partner never happen. Ensuring the children you love so much have their needs met is all on you.
Now, imagine going through all of that — the rigors and extra challenges of solo parenting, of raising the kids as a single mother — when your doctor calls. That lump you found requires immediate treatment to save your life. And there’s no time to lose.
Imagine being a single mother and, suddenly, a cancer patient as well. Simply surviving becomes all you can do. Appointments, treatments, expenses; all create even greater demands upon your time and energy, and all take you away from that most sacred and joyful of duties — to be there for your children. The stakes for yourself and for your children are the highest they can be.
How would you even get through that?
Dr. John Burnett, a Fresno-based plastic surgeon and practitioner of post-cancer reconstructive surgeries, encountered many such women through his practice. Single mothers dealing with the dual challenges of cancer treatment and raising children. Finding that they had little in the way of organizations to support them on a journey where the stakes were even greater than life or death, Dr. Burnett decided to do something about it. He founded an organization to help those mothers, called the Mighty Moms Foundation.
As cited on its website, the Mighty Moms Foundation “recognizes the intense financial burdens and emotional stresses single mothers must face as they undergo cancer treatments.” The Foundation identifies these mothers and their children and provides assistance in many forms, including financial help, emotional support, health and wellness, support for children, and even everyday support like child care, grocery shopping, funds or referrals for light housekeeping, and mentoring of mothers newly diagnosed. And the staff of the Mighty Moms Foundation is all volunteer.
“Unless you’ve experienced it, it’s difficult to imagine how going through cancer treatment can impact every aspect of your life, especially as a single mother,” said Joy Hall, Clinical Director for the Mighty Moms Foundation. Hall said that for some, treatment can become so time- and resource-consuming that many single mothers undergoing treatment find that even covering the basics becomes difficult. And sometimes those basics take on extra necessity.
A blessing beyond words
“Sometimes these moms wonder where their food will come from, or may not have the funds to cover their cell phone bills. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in cancer treatment today and not have a cell phone,” she said. “Funding from the Mighty Moms Foundation can help with those basics, and in doing so, can help relieve the incredible burdens these moms experience.”
So does the Foundation consider itself heroic, for stepping in and helping women facing such challenges? Not really, according to Hall. “These women are the true heroes, trying to support and nurture their families while they’re going through an incredibly difficult journey,” she said. “It’s a blessing beyond words to be able to help them.”
To learn more about the Mighty Moms Foundation, visit their website at www.mightymomsfoundation.org, or visit them on Facebook at “Mighty Moms Foundation.”