Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Sep 07 2012

It’s time to pay it forward.

Category: General InfoLori @ 12:08 pm Comments (32)

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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32 Responses to “It’s time to pay it forward.”

  1. Elizabeth Lenox says:

    Done. Facebook, Twitter, and I’m clicking on the donation link right now.

  2. Eric says:

    I’ve also donated….but maybe not quite as much as others. You are obviously doing much better than me if you get $50 take-out. Haha
    Best of luck to the Burke family. I hate seeing this kind of situation. It’s heartbreaking.

    • Lori says:

      Eric – thank you so much! Every single dollar counts. We can all sit back and say, “I can only do X, why bother?” or we can pool what we can spare and give this family hope. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of worrying about where their family will live in addition to everything else.

      I have a big family that eats a lot of Chinese food in a sitting. But not tonight! 🙂

  3. Janette says:

    Moved to tears. Just donated. Prayers and positive energy to the family

  4. John Danes says:

    Hey Lori, I just made a donation. What a heartbreaking story. I hate to see this kind of thing happen to a good family! I posted on Facebook and Google+ to help get the word out there. Best of luck!

  5. Lynette H. says:

    Thank you I will donate and tweet and fb right away. I live in her town…

  6. Robert Wright says:

    I know how it is with cancer as I lost the mother of our children this year to cancer. I am going to link to help as well and wish the family the best and never give up hope. This is a big family here and I think we need to support when we can and give as much hope as we can

  7. Rachel Smith says:

    A friend took me out to lunch today. So I am contributing the cost of the lunch that he paid for. (for both of us). I see it growing pretty fast already. Lori, you are a wide spread good influence. They should more than meet the goal if we all give a little.

  8. Dave says:

    Lori; I lost my wife to this horrible disease in May. Hope this helps! I miss Her much more than I’ll miss the money.
    Glad to help….Dave

  9. Paul says:

    Done, and thank you for being such a great person! Oh, and I love the knowledge that you share on this blog too.

  10. Johnny B says:

    Done! We can do this. I will forward this to everybody at Chown.

  11. Cda says:


    You open all kinds of “doors”

  12. Karen Green says:

    I know Judith and Rod Arrants, Kris’ parents and I met Kris once. I knew about Kris’ battle with that insidious disease, but to look at her with her daughter Skyler it was so hard to believe how much pain she has. She is so brave.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Karen –

      I just saw Kris a few minutes ago and you’re right – she is amazingly brave. I think it’s hard for any of us to knock down our walls and allow people to help us, but their family needs us now. If you can possibly share their story with your circle of friends and ask them to share it with others, we can make a world of difference.

      – Lori

      • karen green says:

        Hi Lori,

        Anything about Kris has been on my FB page a few times and I have mailed many emails. So far 2 of my friends have sent money. I am meeting Judith and Rod for dinner in a little while. Anything you want me to tell them?

        • Lori says:

          I emailed back and forth with Judith today, so I don’t have any new messages for them, but please give them a big hug for me. Thank you for sharing (and hugging)!

  13. Scott says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do this. It is great to see a community come forward to help one another in times of need.

    I made a small donation, I wish I could have done more but we are committed to other charitable causes as well.

    Best of luck reaching your goal.

    Scott Shapiro

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Scott! Any amount is appreciated more than you can imagine! I saw Kris today and she was absolutely amazed and humbled by the generosity of so many people! If you are able to share the story with others, please do.

      Thanks again.
      – Lori

  14. Joseph Houle says:

    I would just like to say thank you so much for everyone’s help! Kris is my sister and I love her so much and I hate what this disease has put her through. I am amazed that there are so many people out there willing to help out in her time of need. Thank you Lori for spreading the word. I have no words to explain how grateful we are. Joe

  15. lms says:

    Dear Lori,
    you are doing an amazing thing for this mom. Truly. If you are in contact with her–please let her know that there are funds that donors have set up at all of the major Boston hospitals (Mass General, Dana-Farber, etc) that help families with these very needs. Please encourage her to talk to her nurses and have them be in touch with the hospital’s development office to inquire.

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