After witnessing his mother, Shirley, battle cancer for eight months, Clint Gibboney and his family needed a pick–me–up.
Clint decided to put together a spaghetti dinner in Columbus, Ohio not only to honor his mom, but also to encourage his family and friends to donate to CaringBridge, which had helped them stay connected throughout the experience.
Fighting Cancer with a Community
After his mother was diagnosed with mesothelioma, Clint and his family struggled to figure out how they would inform their large support network of family and friends. Once Clint started a CaringBridge website for his mother, he immediately felt the impact of the site. “We wanted to be able to tell the story and get that support, but we would never have been able to touch the people that we did if we hadn’t had the vehicle in CaringBridge,” says Clint.
When putting together the spaghetti dinner, Clint reached out to his network of personal and professional contacts. The community responded, donating restaurant space, food and items for a silent auction.
People came from as far as Florida to support Shirley. “It was exactly what we needed – friends, conversation,” says Clint. “We rallied around mom.”
The spaghetti dinner put smiles on the faces of everyone who attended, but no one was more impacted than Shirley. “Once she got there she was all smiles, and from the point that we left that dinner to today, you can see the momentum building not only emotionally, but also in her strength and confidence,” says Clint.
The fundraiser also helped spread the word about Shirley’s CaringBridge site, and family and friends have flocked to leave messages of love and encouragement in her guestbook.
Those messages are what keep Shirley going. “I can take my laptop up to the hospital and show my mom the messages, and it’s an instant smile no matter how bad she feels,” says Clint. “CaringBridge helps create smiles, and that’s a big thing for someone that doesn’t necessarily feel all that fantastic.”
Through the spaghetti dinner and the silent auction, Clint and his family, friends and co–workers raised about $5,000 for CaringBridge. Clint is thankful for how much CaringBridge has positively impacted his experience. “I don’t think there would have been any other way that we could have accomplished this,” says Clint. “I wanted to give the money back to something that I really believed in, to something that I really fell in love with.”