First and foremost I am a Mom and Wife. Married to Rick for 14 years and Mom to Bo (11) and Petey (8). I am also a navy brat, my dad (Glenn Gentle) is a retired commander and lives in Saint Simons Island, Ga. My mom (Dinah Gentle) passed away in 2003 with complications from Breast Implants.
I had my own health scare in 2007 and had to have a biopsy on my breast every 3 months for a year and I walked away knowing that I was one of the lucky ones. A couple of years later I saw a friend's picture of her walk in Susan G Komen 3Day walk for the cure and I said I can do that. I walked with her and the following year I formed my own team named "Pink Patriots" and we are walking this October for the 2nd year in The Atlanta 2Day Walk for Breast Cancer, produced by “It's the Journey”. I also currently serve and volunteer my time on the advisory board of directors.
In 2006 my husband had an aneurysm on his aeorta then in 2011 he had a level 4 Melanoma. I know the hardship of major medical. It will cripple a family. I am not sure how we made it and it is still a struggle but we all have our health and so much HOPE - knowing that you have children to feed and hundreds of thousands in medical bills arriving in the mail is so very scary.... close to $500,000. Thank goodness we have good insurance but I don't care how good it is when you are out of work on medical leave the other bills just pile up.
Fast forward to fall of 2011, my childhood friend introduced me to "Superman" Boyd who was battling non Hodgkin’s lymphoma at that time, sadly he lost his battle Jan 2012. This is where my fundraising shifted to supporting families. I was able to witness an amazing outpouring of love and support for this family while I was organizing a fundraiser and this is when I realized what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
In Dec 2011 my friend Brad was diagnosed with ALS. I have known Brad since 1979. We went to middle school, high school and college with Brad, he has a smile that just makes everyone feel good! I did not know much about ALS at the time but I knew I had to do something for Brad and his precious family. I reached out to family and friends - we had a silent auction and poker tournament. Brad’s family is so loved, people who could not attend started to mail checks. This fundrasier raised $15,000, enough to pay for an experimental ALS procedure. After the success of this fundraiser I finally announced to my friends that I had been in the process of starting my own non profit..... "Gentle HOPE - helping families find HOPE in medical hardships". While I am still waiting on my 501c3 paperwork to be returned, I am confident the impact of Gentle HOPE will be huge for families that are faced with medical hardships. I don't want families to have to worry about the bills that are accumulating but to focus on health and healing. I want them to have HOPE!
Please Join my "Gentle HOPE" Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gentle-HOPE/126033904203899