It’s time.  Today.

UPDATE:  Click here to download an article about Kris in Bay State Parent!

This is a blog about doors, but this post is not about doors.  It’s about our ability to join together and change the lives of one family.

Last night I went to a PTO meeting at our elementary school.  Sitting directly across from me at the far end of 20’ of table, were Ben and Kris Burke.  I don’t know Ben and Kris well, but I know a little about their struggle.

Kris has been fighting metastatic cancer for more than 11 years.  Her 5-year-old daughter Skyler has lived her entire life with a mom who has battled this illness while trying to keep life normal for her daughter.  Skyler was in my daughter’s preschool class, and every time I have seen Kris, she is smiling.  If she is in pain – the physical pain caused by the spread of cancer throughout her body or the emotional pain of worrying about her daughter and husband, she is still smiling.   I don’t know how she does it – she has amazing strength.

When I saw Kris and Ben last night for the first time in several months, I thought, “What can I do for them?”  I can offer to take Skyler off the bus, provide meals, or take care of holiday gifts for Skyler.  No problem.  But what Skyler’s family needs is money.  Kris lost her job as a teacher last year as well as her health insurance.  As they struggle to pay for chemotherapy and radiation, they are very close to losing their home and their cars, and the medical bills are piling up.  A website has been set up to allow people to make donations, and the initial goal is $25,000.  I’m sure that will only begin to help with their financial problems.

$25,000 is a lot of money.  I can’t give Skyler’s family $25,000.  But as 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.”

  • If 12,500 of us gathered up the loose change in our pockets or purse and donated $2, we’d raise $25,000.
  • If 5,000 of us decided not to stop at the coffee shop today and donated $5, we’d raise $25,000.
  • If 2,500 of us brought our lunch to work instead of ordering it from the deli and donated $10 we’d raise $25,000.
  • If 1,250 of us donated $20 instead of taking our kids out for ice cream after school today, we’d raise $25,000.
  • If 500 of us (only 500 of us!) donated $50 instead of ordering take-out for their family tonight, we’d raise $25,000.
  • And if 250 of us decided we could live without those new shoes and donated $100, we’d raise $25,000.

We can’t make Kris well today.  We can’t cure cancer today.  But we can erase this burden from Kris and her family.  It’s time to stop thinking, “What can I do?” and start saying, “I can do this.”  There are millions of people in need and many of us have felt the financial pinch in the last few years.  We all have hopes that things will be better in the future.  Kris needs that hope today.  Kris doesn’t know what the future holds for herself and her family.  We can change Kris’ life by sharing our loose change, lunch money, or the $100 bill we planned to spend at the mall.  We won’t miss these things tomorrow, but we will have changed someone’s life forever.  We can’t help everyone, but we can help someone.  We can’t do everything, but we can do something.

Please, donate what you would have spent on tonight’s take-out dinner or your afternoon coffee break by visiting

Then, share this post with everyone you know.  Post it on Facebook.  Share it on Twitter.  Write about it on your blog.  Think about who you know that might be willing to help, and send them an email.  Over $700,000 was raised for the New York bus monitor who was horribly bullied by students riding the bus.  Surely we can raise enough to save Kris, Ben, and Skyler from losing their home.  Let’s do it today.

Kris’ family and friends have set up a Facebook page (Keeping Kris Strong) so you can support Kris, Ben, and Skyler.

Here’s an article about Kris in our local newspaper – the Metrowest Daily News.

And one more time, the donation link.

Many thanks.

–  Lori

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