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Foundation4Love Gives Back: Meet Joanne and Amanda

Legends say that Hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.

I'm starting this blog off talking about father and husband, Ken Rowe. A stand up guy, a guy that reminds me of my own Dad. Ken spends (roughly give or take) every 2 weeks at a cancer center with his wife, Joanne and daughter, Amanda who are both receiving chemotherapy treatment. This cancer center has become part of this family's routine.

I unfortunately know this as I have taken care of both Joanne and Amanda as their nurse. As a nurse, no matter what people say, there's some patients that you connect more with than others...this family is one of them. When Amanda was diagnosed two years ago, she was pregnant -- an all too familiar story we hear now affecting young women.

Many people ask oncology nurses how can we do this job? Between you and me, I HATE that question and it makes me somewhat uncomfortable. It has taken me 8 years to perfect my answer to this question. I realized that I am LOWSY at remembering people's diagnoses. I look at my patient's having a story just like you and I.

A small glimpse into their life -- Amanda worked as a genetic counselor for cancer patients and Joanne is a nurse -- she LOVED being a school nurse when her own children were younger. Amanda's light in her life is her 2 year old daughter, Nola. It's extremely apparent as she does arts and crafts with her while being hooked up to chemotherapy in the treatment room. I can do this job because when I see my patients like Joanne and Amanda come through that door into the treatment room, I look forward to catching up on what's been new the last two weeks I haven't seen them, ask Nola how she is doing and how her recent 2nd birthday party went and see what kind of weekend plans they have going on. Oncology nursing becomes more than just a nurse taking care of patients.

Ken emailed Foundation4Love asking if we could provide his two favorite women with some SaltyGirl love. duh --of course we will!!! Ken writes...

"Our family has gone through quite a lot, but we are all brightened by the wondrous and beautiful growth of Nola. She has been such a blessing for all of us. As you probably know, Amanda's tumor was discovered in her first trimester ultrasound.

It was initially recommended that she abort the baby. After doing exhaustive research on this particular cancer, Amanda and her husband, Colin, were determined to deliver this baby. There also were no cases of administering chemo during pregnancy for this particular cancer. After much consultation, a chemo regime was administered through eight months of the pregnancy, and our miracle Nola came out unscathed. I could go on and on about these two women. Cindy Williams of Channel 6 had scheduled an interview with Amanda right after Angelina Jolie had announced her breast cancer. Amanda kept the interview, even though she had heard only three days prior of her own dreadful tumor. She did a great job, and we were so proud watching her on the nightly news."

Pictured - Amanda, Ken, Joanne, Nola Foundation4Love is our way to give back to our community and share stories of fearless, determined, loving people. The Rowe/Lamb family are examples of this. Amanda and Joanne will enjoy a girls spa day at Rivers Edge Spa and Salon in Kennebunk and then enjoy dinner with their husbands and Nola at Joshua's, their favorite restaurant. We want to give a special thank you to these two local businesses for helping us make this day so special. Our goal is to help our Foundation4Love recipients connect with the people they love and disconnect from their cancer. If you know a person dealing with a cancer diagnosis please email us at and let us bring some SaltyGirl Love to their day. For more information about our non profit please visit us here. Peace and Love, Leah



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