Susan M.

"I heard about Friends for Friends almost ten years ago, when my best friend’s husband, Frank “Dutch” Culbertson, was diagnosed suddenly and unexpectedly with a rare form of cancer, a disease that took his life way too soon.

I think we all know there are not enough words to express our sympathy to our lifelong friends or family members when something like this happens to them, and I also believe there is no end to what many of us feel blessed to be able to do to help those same people in their time of need.

It was while all this was going on with Judy and Dutch that I began to hear of the many stories of giving that they were blessed with:  family members and friends who helped care for the kids while Dutch was away for surgery and treatment; coworkers who donated their sick time to him so he wouldn’t go uncompensated while out of work; meals, gifts, cards and, most of all, prayers that came from anybody and everybody they knew.  All of these we know are what we expect to happen.

But the one that she didn’t expect to happen and that made such an impact on me was when I heard about the financial gift Judy received from this organization, and it’s easy to understand why.  Founded many years ago by a group of classmates who watched their young friend get diagnosed with cancer; his family having to deal with medical, financial, and emotional struggles; they vowed that they would not let his spirit pass from this world without making an impact in some way on the lives of those who found themselves in the same situation.  As Judy and I have been friends since third grade at St. Joe’s in Collingdale, this commitment spoke to us in a heartfelt way.

I have been a proud member of Friends for Friends since I learned of its existence, and have been blessed to be in a position to support its various fundraising events, and one year even took the championship title on Trivia Night!  But this year I found myself in need of the support that this organization has made its mission.

A lifelong friend of ours, Sharon Proietto, was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and though her prognosis is promising, her ability to work during her treatment is not.  She was already in a difficult financial position, having lost her full-time job a few years ago; and, as we all know, having a financial burden on top of a life-threatening diagnosis to deal with sometimes just seems too much for anyone to bear.   Ironically, it was the same dear friend, Judy Culbertson, who suggested that we nominate Sharon to be considered by the Board as a recipient of Friends for Friends’ generosity. 

So today I am writing to each of you to say thank you for considering our request to gift Sharon in her time of need. She was blown away by the check Judy delivered to her last week and I know it has made a huge impact on her ability to do her best over the next few months to come out a survivor. 

I am honored to be part of such a great organization and look forward to always being able to help our fellow friends and families in need.  l always hold you all in my prayers."

Susan M.