Thank you for visiting Tom's Caring Bridge page. As most of you know, Tom was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Lung cancer and has not yet been able to get back to work at UMMC. This loss of income along with accumulating medical bills and upcoming expenses for chemo treatment is causing a significant financial burden for Tom and Freda. With that said, we have established a Go Fund Me page to assist them financially during this difficult time. You may visit by following the link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/tom-witcher-medical-fund
If you know Tom, you know his job is very important to him. He is the "face" of UMMC for the patients he interacts with during possibly some of the most stressful moments of their lives. He brings a message of encouragement and "Hope"- quite literally! If you have ever spoken with Tom, you have probably heard him share his testimony of love and faith in the Lord and stories of his daughter, Hope. UMMC holds a special place for Tom because Hope was a patient at the Children's Cancer Clinic. She went to rest in the arms of Jesus in December 1999. While staying with Hope at UMMC during her treatments, Tom and Freda made connections with other patients and their families. Tom was very passionate about these connections and felt led to give back to these families faced with life-changing circumstances-- if only to be a ray of light or to provide an encouraging word. Eventually, Tom was able to secure employment at UMMC as a Patient Ambassador. This job is a perfect fit for Tom! He is able to guide patients to and from their destinations amongst the busy halls of the hospital where they may otherwise get lost in the shuffle. Tom is a source of light, guidance, and inspiration in many other ways, too, when patients need it the most! Tom has a way of making you feel better after an encounter with him! He leaves us better than he found us! This enthusiasm he shares spreads to employees, too! There are very few employees that do not know Tom and look forward to seeing his smiling face in the halls! Although legally blind, Tom makes an effort to say hello to his friends and coworkers as he calls them each by name. One coworker recently referred to him as a “UMMC icon”!
Tom and Freda have been and continue to be such a blessing to so many that I wanted to provide others with a way to bless them during this time of need. They are devout followers of Christ-through good times and bad. As you read, Tom and Freda experienced what most of us would consider the unimaginable-the loss of their daughter, Hope. Sadly, they also lost their son, Steven, in a car accident in 1993. These devastating losses were heartbreaking and life-changing for Tom and Freda but they continued to praise God in these storms.
In true Tom fashion, he wanted to be a part of this because he saw an opportunity to share his faith with anyone that may read this. In his own words, Tom wanted you to know:
“On the 25th of November, they drained the fluid from around my lung and did a biopsy showing I have metastatic lung cancer. Two days later, they diagnosed me with a pinched nerve which has kept me bedridden until 3 days ago. But praise GOD, I AM COMING BACK!! I am learning to use a walker and the doctors have come up with a treatment plan for the cancer that we are praying about. I am thankful for so many prayer warriors that are praying for Freda and me as we both have health issues. We feel the presence of Jesus through all of these prayers. People are supporting us in so many ways, including staying with me when Freda has to leave, meals, and above all else- beautiful prayers. I see the hand of God working in all of this. And I am VERY thankful for the people HE has put in our lives. He is teaching me to love HIM and HIS people more every day. My goals are to be back in church as soon as possible and get back to work two days a week. This Christmas has been a little different for us considering this news. We didn’t have a tree, decorations or presents. We had better! We had the blessing of spending time together with our son, Eric, and his family that we love so very much. It was the best Christmas that we have ever had. PRESENCE over PRESENTS! Glory be to GOD for time with family that I love so much. I thank you ALL so much!"
As you can see, Tom impacts others in such meaningful ways--and he likely never realizes just how much! I know COUNTLESS stories could be told where Tom's light was shining bright for all the world to see. I may never find the words to adequately describe the man Tom Witcher is, but for anyone that has the pleasure of knowing him, they already know how special he is! If you have a story to share about Tom, please feel free to do so! I know he and Freda would love to hear it! If you are unable to help financially, please pray for them and consider sharing his story.
Friends and family of Tom and Freda Witcher
Support by donating at https://www.gofundme.com/f/tom-witcher-medical-fund.
If you would rather make a direct donation, I will gladly pick up donations and deliver to them on your behalf.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.