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Dear Friends and Family, I was diagnosed with cancer on Mother's Day. The cancer fills my torso. Since then my friends and family asked me to create this Caring Bridge site to keep them informed of my condition. My daughter flew in from her home on Vancouver Island to be with me right after I learned of my diagnosis and her husband and child arrived soon thereafter, although he needs to return to work shortly. My local girlfriends have been helping with food and visits, my guy friends have helped with property upkeep, and my family and friends who live at a distance have been keeping my spirits up with cards and phone calls. I am still in the stage of figuring out how I want to proceed with treatment, both traditional and non-traditional. I hope this Caring Bridge site will allow me to easily post information about my progress for those who may want to know. Also, I invite you to share your thoughts about how I have touched you in your life. It will be a great comfort to me. Please visit my GO FUND ME account at gofundme.com/28n5fhg if you would like to make a financial contribution to help defray the costs of my medical treatment and associated money demands, since I had to stop working upon my diagnosis. Letters can also be sent to 3720 Pleasant Valley Road, Cosby,Tennessee, 37722.
For those of you who may have known only a portion of my life, below is some additional background information. I have lived in Cosby, Tennessee for40 years where I raised my daughter, Rebecca. She is a doctor of biological oceanography currently living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with her 3 year old son,Sam and her husband, Ben who is employed with the Canadian Coast Guard.
I most recently worked for the US Census Bureau as a field representative. I was also running an Airbnb at my home and had a side business making and selling granola. Previous to that I was a consultant on non-profit development, management and grant-writing. I served on the Board of theAppalachian Community Fund for approximately 10 years. I was a founder andBoard member of CEDNET (Community Economic Development Network of EastTennessee). For 19 years, beginning in 1983, I directed Safespace, a battered women’s comprehensive program serving 3 counties in rural East Tennessee(Jefferson, Sevier and Cocke). In 1980 I was a founding member of the TNCoalition Against Domestic Violence and the Southeast Coalition AgainstDomestic Violence. I was the training coordinator for the Tennessee CoalitionAgainst Domestic Violence and was instrumental in getting the Order ofProtection into general use throughout the state. I provided leadership for the rural caucus of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In addition to managing a shelter, I created alternative economic opportunities for women who left their battering relationships. I provided leadership in the areas of economic justice, individual development accounts, micro enterprise development and entrepreneurship during my tenure on the Tennessee Network for CommunityEconomic Development Board (2000-2004). I was a “foodie” before there was such a word, sourcing my food- from eggs to meat to milk and vegetables- raising my own garden and canning my own vegetables for 40 years.
Among the awards presented to me over the years are:
• Sui Juris Award, TN Task ForceAgainst Domestic Violence (1992 )
• Mary Renshaw Award, TN Task ForceAgainst Domestic Violence (1995)
• Jefferson Award, AmericanInstitute for Public Service (1993)
• Above and Beyond Award, East TNFoundation (1993)
• Certificate of Appreciation,United States Department of Justice (1992)
Please do communicate with me. I would love to hear from you. Although I may not be able to respond individually I or my daughter will post updates periodically. Thank you. Dianne