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Meet Ms. April 2018: Linda Rodenbarger

Ms. April 2018: Linda Rodenbarger

“Find something to be thankful for every day.”

Linda and her husband of 35 years, Dr. Jerry, live in Valparaiso, Indiana. They have three children, Sarah, Dr. Andrew and Dr. Zach and are expecting their first grandchild in December, 2017.

As a dedicated teacher of 44 years in the Portage Township School system, Linda provides her students with the ability to face things that occur in life and to find meaning and blessings in whatever life’s path holds for them. In 2012, during her battle with cancer, Linda was named the “Teacher of Excellence” and strived to show others that “life does go on” after diagnosis. Cancer did not hold Linda back in life, but pushed her to proceed and make every day important in her life and the lives of others.

Linda is as active community volunteer affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, United Way, Valparaiso Park Department and the Don Quijote Scholarship committee. She has also been seen on the dance floor for a local charity event version of “Dancing with the Stars” and has participated in fashion shows, choirs, softball and volleyball teams. There is no end to her energy level or spirit of giving!

Her advice to others is to “Stay positive, realize that this too shall pass, continue doing what you’ve always done and always see the cup as half full!”

Linda Rodenbarger is a 5 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend, Jill Hunt.

Meet Ms. March 2018: Karen Beezhold

Ms. March 2018: Karen Beezhold“It’s hard to imagine going through this without faith, family and friends.”

Karen Beezhold and her husband Rudy reside in Hobart, Indiana. They have been married for 38 years and have two children, Nicole and Christian and two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Henry.

Through her work as the Administrative Manager for the First Christian Reformed Church, Karen comes into contact with many families who are “touched by this disease” and is grateful for the opportunity to comfort and console others. Throughout her treatment, she never missed a day of work and faced her diagnosis with fear, grace and strength. People often tell her that she has been an inspiration to them, but Karen feels it is just the opposite, saying that “people inspired me through their prayers and love.”

Karen and two of her sisters have all been diagnosed with breast cancer in various stages. They are all survivors and serve as inspiration for each other. Karen’s advice to others regarding breast cancer is that “you can have peace in your journey through faith” and she feels “sometimes God gives us these challenges in life so we can have a heart for others who are challenged with the same.” She is “hoping to continue working through it all and to fight like a girl!”

Her motto now is “Every day is Christmas!”

Karen Beezhold is a 3 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her sister, Patricia DeBoer.

Meet Misses February 2018: Melinda Rosaschi & Mary Crane

Misses February 2018: Melinda Rosaschi & Mary Crane“If you discover anything suspicious, get a medical evaluation as soon as possible…” and “If I can make it through chemotherapy, so can you…”

Melinda Rosaschi and Mary Crane share a special relationship. They are mother and daughter. Mary has been married for 67 years to her husband Russell, and they have three children, Terri, Melinda and Allison and four grandchildren, Kris, Melissa, Melanie and Keith.

Melinda and her husband John reside in Schererville, IN and have two daughters, Melissa and Melanie, and five grandchildren, Faith, Aaron, Brooklyn, Daniel and Drew – who are Mary’s great-grandchildren!

Both Melinda and Mary have been dedicated to helping others. Mary spent her working years preparing meals for the students at Highland High School, and Melinda is a pre-and post-surgical nurse at Community Hospital in Munster, IN.
All throughout their respective cancer journeys, they have remained active and positive. Mary provided on-going child care for family members whenever needed, never letting her situation bring her down emotionally or physically and Melinda worked almost full-time helping her surgical patients when they needed care.

Melinda feels her greatest accomplishment since her diagnosis has been to provide positive encouragement and education to those who are newly diagnosed and Mary takes pride in being the family matriarch and a positive role model to others.

Melinda Rosaschi is a 3 year breast cancer survivor. Mary Crane is a 15 year breast cancer survivor. Both are proudly nominated by Melinda’s daughter (and Mary’s granddaughter) Melissa Mikolajczyk.

Meet Ms. January 2018: Joy Shurman

Ms. January 2018: Joy Shurman“Always have a smile on your face! – Be a joy to the world!”

Joy Shurman and her husband Bill have been married for 27 years and reside in Lowell, IN. They are the proud parents of Amanda and Alec and grandparents to Gracelyn.

Throughout her cancer journey, Joy was dedicated to helping a friend who was experiencing some difficult health issues and she brought courage and strength to those around her. Her determination and enthusiasm were inspirational and her “joy” and support gave encouragement to many.

Joy is employed at Lowell Carpet & Coverings, and is affiliated with the Lowell, IN Rotary, International Rotary, Indiana Women in Need and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

In her own words, Joy would advise others to “do your self-examinations” and she considers her greatest accomplishment since her diagnosis to be becoming a grandmother. Joy looks forward to spending many more precious years with her growing family.

Joy Shurman is a 3 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend, Tami Brunke.