People often ask us how they can help once they hear our story, and I always struggle to know how to answer them. When you are in the middle of turmoil and instability it's hard to know what you are feeling, let alone be aware enough of you feelings and needs to articulate them clearly.
This page is my best attempt to answer the question, "How can we help?". It's a combination of financial, physically, and emotional ways that people can support us as we continue forward with Bryan's diagnosis and with Sage's struggles as well. If you are someone who has asked us what you can do to help or support us, I hope you find this page helpful.
If you feel led to hold us up in any of these ways we would be so incredibly grateful. We know we can't keep moving forward alone and we are so thankful for each person who has chosen to walk this journey with us.
Both Bryan's cancer and Sage's cerebral palsy have come with a whole set of medical bills and expenses that we never could have prepared for fully. We are thankful that up until very recently Bryan has been able to work all throughout his cancer treatment and that we have been able to have fairly decent medical insurance. We are grateful that through our community God has always always provided for our needs and more. But the farther we get into this journey the bigger our needs have become. We never want to be hindered from seeking the best possible treatments (for either Bryan or Sage) simply because of location or money, and we are committed to continuing to seek out the best possible options for both of them, which often means more expense and more logistical complications.
If you are feeling led to help us financially to meet our needs during this battle, we would be incredibly grateful. There are a number of easy ways you can help us financially.
We're on Venmo as Bethany-Stedman if you want to send money that way.
CASH OR CHECK
If you'd like to just send a check or cash feel free to do that. If you need our address send me an email through the contact form and I'll get it to you.
If you are in the area and would like to help in physical ways by:
bringing a meal
picking kids up from school
please send me an email through the contact page of this site.
We are always so grateful for this kind of tangible help, but it can be a little hard to know what we need in these areas so please just let me know if you are interested or available for helping with kids or running errands and I will keep you in mind as needs arise.
Also I will never ever refuse a meal so if you have our address and feel like bringing something always feel free.
SUPPORT OUR PASSIONS
& BELIEVE IN OUR ENDEAVORS
It might not come to mind typically for people to support us this way, but having people show up for us not just by taking things off our plate, but by coming to things when we invite them and buying into the tentative dreams we step towards, well that means a lot. When your whole life becomes about CANCER or SPECIAL NEEDS or these big overwhelming things that are out of your control, it can be really hard to dream or to remember that you are more than these all encompassing diagnoses.
It's an uphill battle for Bryan and I to continue to dream and hope and create. It's hard work for us to step out and do things outside of the realm of cancer or special needs. But it is important work for our hearts.
So a very significant, although often forgotten, way you can support us is by supporting the tentative offerings we put out into the world.
If you're in the area come to my yoga class. It is my greatest joy and honor whenever people show up and practice along side of me.
Spend the $8 to buy my little e-book and tell your friends about it.
Hire me to write for you or edit your writing.
Cheer me on as I attempt to get my first YA novel published — and if you have any connections with publishers or agents hook me up ;) haha
Sign up for my email list as building that can help me get published
And when we put out the effort to invite you to coffee or organize a little dinner party or gathering, come. Because you have no idea how hard those invitations are for us these days, how much we have to fight for that time and work up the courage and energy to put ourselves out there.
There is no way to express the toll that the cancer journey (and special needs parenting) takes on our hearts. There are days when even the simplest things can feel crushing and debilitating. We've had some very dark days recently and we could never get through them without the support of our friends and family.
We often think of the story of Israel fighting the Amalekites and how whenever Moses' hands were raised they were winning, yet his hands grew tired and he needed the help of others to hold up his arms and support him. We need that too. We need people to hold up our arms.
There are a number of really helpful ways you can support us emotionally.
We covet and value your prayers so very much and we are so grateful for each person who prays for our family. If you'd like to be a part of our prayer team and get updates about Bryan's cancer (as things come up) you can join that email list by clicking the button below and putting in your email. It doesn't take long and you can unsubscribe at any time.
We need courage for those days when we our hope wavers and the marathon ahead feels long. Something that has been incredibly helpful for us in this most recent season is just hearing from people. Please reach out to us. We might not respond always but every single card, text, email, voicemail, and video helps us keep going. It is such a gift to know that there are people cheering us on and walking this road with us.
Some ideas of things people have sent us that have brightened our day and helped us get through:
Send a video of your or your family
Record a voice memo of you reading a favorite scripture and send it to us
Record yourself praying for Bryan and send it
Send us the link to a song that's been encouraging for you
Send us the link to a funny youtube video that made you laugh
Send a picture of you and us together
Forward a funny meme or photo
These are just a few ideas. Really if something makes you think of us send it our way. Don't worry about how something will be receiving or about having to say the right thing - we just want to know you're thinking of us and with us in all this.