Stories of Hope: Lori’s Helping Hands

Lori Tragesser - RunContributed By Lori Tragesser

August 27, 2014 was a day that changed everything in my life. My oncologist came into my exam room, took my hands, and explained I was facing a Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis. As her words began to fade into the air, I heard her say that this was treatable but not curable. Words that no one wants to hear. I suddenly had to deal with intense treatments and tiring side effects on top of the emotions of this devastating diagnosis. I had four teenage boys and a 10 year old daughter…all very active with sports, clubs, and theater. My husband worked long farming hours and I had a full time job myself. What was going to do? How was I going to do this?


Lori Tragesser - soccerfamily night


We live in small Midwest farming community. Within no time, I was overwhelmed with calls from friends and other people in my community wanting to help. Realizing the huge response to help, Dawn, a dear friend and neighbor, asked if she could help by keeping a calendar of meals and rides for the kids.  I felt like that was a huge undertaking for my busy friend. But then we found Lotsa Helping Hands!

I had seen Lotsa Helping Hands on a breast cancer resource site. I told Dawn that maybe we should check it out. Immediately after looking at the website, we were back on the phone with each other. We easily created my community, Lori’s Helping Hands. We decided to both be coordinators so that she could invite friends, and I could enter the meals and rides for the kids that my family needed. We ended up with thirty members in my community, who took care of every activity I added to the calendar. All of our community members loved that the site was so user-friendly, sent reminders, and included an app on their phone. I loved that I was able to easily share what types of meals would be good for our large family.


Lori Tragesser - Team Lori


Asking for help and accepting help is never an easy thing to do. I realized that Lotsa Helping Hands was going to make my journey with cancer easier. I am faced with doing treatments for the rest of my life, however long or short that may be. There are going to be times where I am functioning fine and times when I am going to need help. Now I know that whatever I face, Dawn can keep my community calendar updated. The experience was so good that we have decided that we will use it to help other families that might need it in our local community.

What a blessing it is to have such a caring community and a user friendly resource to get me the help I needed! Thank you Lotsa Helping Hands!

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