There have been so many months that have passed since I’ve written…….after all the writing and refining I did to get my book, Strength in My Storm: Faith and Breast Cancer, ready for publishing, I almost felt like I needed a thinking and writing break! However, God always has other plans for you………
October was a blessed month, where I was able to share a part of my story of breast cancer with others in the hopes of encouraging them and showing them that you can get through anything by leaning on your faith and having a positive attitude. Without God, I don’t know how my last few years would’ve been and where I would be right now.
In the past couple of weeks, God has been “nudging” me again to glorify Him in another way I never even thought of……..my first “nudge” was to do a Universal Cancer Walk for Katy, the City I live in. Since my family was affected by all different cancers, I thought it was important to represent ALL cancers, not just breast cancer. That lead to starting a non profit foundation…….which I’m in the process of doing. It’s called GEST Foundation, Inc and here is my mission statement and purpose:
Provide emotional, spiritual and financial support to individuals receiving medical treatment for all types of cancers.
WHY GEST FOUNDATION, INC. WAS CREATED
Founder Michelle Perzan created GEST Foundation, Inc. in honor of her mother Gemma(G), father Elmer and Baba/Grandma Elsie (E) and brother Steven (S) who all died from various kinds of cancer. The “T” in GEST stands for Michelle’s maiden name, Trakalo. Michelle herself is a breast cancer survivor.
After surveying the non-profit organizations currently in existence, Michelle realized that there is a tremendous need for a foundation which can provide emotional, spiritual and financial support to those undergoing treatment for all types of cancer.
Michelle truly understands that it is the months after surgery which are most difficult for those undergoing treatment for cancer. Michelle relied on her faith and her family to give her the strength to fight her own breast cancer diagnosis. As a result, Michelle has been cancer-free for one year. However, Michelle understands that not everyone has the support system she was fortunate to have during her journey. Therefore, Michelle’s vision is to provide a support system for those who do not have one, or who just need a little extra help.
The support provided by GEST Foundation, Inc. will include, but not be limited to, financial support so that patients can focus on healing. GEST Foundation, Inc. will provide grants to deserving individuals so that services such as grocery delivery, transport to and from post-op medical appointments and treatments, house cleaning, and personal caregivers to assist with daily living activities can be provided. By providing this support, Michelle and the GEST Foundation, Inc. Board hope to provide cancer patients and their families relief from dealing with the minor irritations of day to day living.
The funds raised by the GEST Foundation, Inc. will be raised right here in the Katy community, and all proceeds will remain in the community. It is the mission of Michelle and the GEST Foundation, Inc. to help the thousands of people undergoing cancer treatment and their families. Michelle and the GEST Foundation, Inc. Board hope that you will support, both financially and through volunteer opportunities, the mission of the GEST Foundation, Inc.
If you wish to volunteer at the inaugural Katy Universal Cancer Walk in October 2017, please contact by email: volunteerGEST@gmail.com. Donations may be made by mailing a check, payable to GEST Foundation, Inc., to 403 W Grand Pkwy S, Ste F, #113, Katy, TX 77494. If you wish to sponsor a specific expense related to the organization and start-up of the GEST Foundation, Inc., please contact us by email: volunteerGEST@gmail.com to learn about the sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsors will receive recognition in all GEST Foundation, Inc. materials for the year in which the donation is made.
GEST Foundation, Inc. is currently seeking tax-exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time. It is expected to be granted in 2017. However, no guarantees of tax deductibility can be made at this time.
WOW………I read it and I’m still so humbled…..
WHO AM I to create a foundation and start a walk? WHY ME? Two questions that crossed my mind many times……and then I have to stop and realize it’s not ME, it’s God working through me to help others and spread His word to glorify HIM. I sat with some friends and made some calls and shared my vision and within a few days I had a meting set up with nine people who wanted to help in some way or another and the past few days have brought others willing to help…….that is all God. I know I could never do this on my own, but when it’s God’s will, it will come to pass…..
I believe God takes the ordinary person, the plain believer and uses them to work His plans – all He wants if for us to be obedient and say “Yes Lord”. I can honestly say I have no idea how to start a non profit, however, one of my board members is a lawyer and another one who will be a board member is an accountant and then the others are all talented in other areas that I am not and that is how we will succeed – because we take all of our strengths and put them together to build a cohesive foundation that I believe will touch hundreds of thousands of lives…..
I am sure there will be struggles and learning curves, however as long as we keep our eyes on why we are doing this and who is truly in charge, then I know God will open doors and bless this foundation because of every person involved and their hearts.To sit there at a foundation meeting to see who may want to help and see all of them say they wanted to, touched my heart in a way I can’t even describe. I left that meeting and sat in my van and cried tears of joy, humbleness and thankfulness……….this foundation represents my family and their memory and legacy in a way. My passion is truly to help those being affected by cancer because it truly is the after surgeries and after treatments that people need help – I know I did. I just want to make their lives a little bit more blessed while they are fighting cancer and take the burden off however I can – and I believe with all my heart with this foundation, it will happen.
Today I felt the “urge” to write and I had no idea what would come out – but as soon as I sat down, words filled the screen – not because I had all of them, but because I have yielded myself to “let go and let God” be in charge. This is just the beginning, I see God has so much planned, however, all I need to do is focus on taking one step at a time and know that each step I take, God will light the path to show me where the next step needs to be and for that I am so thankful. God truly is good ALL THE TIME………Amen