Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Hey there. [Heather's friend Jen Gordon here].
Ever since Heather's announcement, everyone in Heather's community has been asking "How can I help?" Those kind requests have increased in frequency since chemo began. As you can imagine as someone who knows Heather, the simple question of help has been stressful to her! She feels much more comfortable in the role of giving help to someone rather than receiving it. Further, Heather doesn't exactly know yet what she needs. Food that sounded amazing last week now sounds terrible. This week she went from sleeping all day to not being able to sleep much at all this week. Even knowing what to ask for at this point (plus getting her comfortable with the idea of receiving help) is a bit of a challenge.
So I'm writing on behalf of Heather, alongside her close friend Tam, to help give some guidance to this outpouring of love and offers of assistance. Heather apologizes that she hasn't been able to answer everyone's offer of help directly--it's not at all surprising that many, many people have reached out!
If you want to help, here are some ways that we think would be best for Heather and her family:
Gift cards--food/restaurant delivery: As mentioned, Heather's food preferences have been changing on a day to day basis. Instead of preparing a food/meal train where we all volunteer to cook, chipping in for some delivery services is the preferred option. Heather tends to use DoorDash and UberEats most frequently. Aside from delivery services, gift certificates to specific restaurants or grocery stores in the Point Loma / San Diego area work great too! On nights when Heather doesn't feel like cooking, these delivery services would be both convenient for Heather and fun for her boys.
Seeger and Greer's Amazon wish lists: Whenever the boys have asked Heather for a game, toy, or possible gift, her response has always been "Add it to your Christmas/birthday Wishlist!" Heather knows this process is going to be tough on the boys as well, and would love for them to have some new things when she may not be at full entertainment capacity. These lists have games, books, gift cards for other stores, etc.:
GoFundMe: This is the one that really makes Heather uncomfortable--decades of conditioning that gifting shouldn't be just cash, or that raising money is for those that are truly in financial hardship. We've done our best to talk her out of these things! If you want to help in ways above the first two suggestions, Tam has set up a wonderful GoFundMe for Heather. Money raised here would help take care of unexpected costs as things arise, and help supplement general expenses when she goes out on Medical leave soon.
There have been so many amazing ideas--a food prep calendar; watching the boys during the school day; cleaning the house; and taking the boys to nearby events are a few of the plethora of help offerings. Some of those unfortunately are nearly impossible in the time of COVID (Heather is doing everything she can to stay out of any COVID danger in this time of increased cases and her own immunocompromised state). We think the above suggestions--while they make Heather cringe --are the best way to support her and the family right now.
A final great option is to reach out and share some words of support in the comments below! While Heather doesn't get to all of them immediately, she does read them all, and her community of supporters mean the world to her.
(special thanks to Tam for setting up the GoFundMe!)