As you may have noticed in our newsletters and recent communication, I have a new surname. Winn became Barbour, 6 months ago, when I married my best friend Steven.

Our wedding is a day I will always remember, in line with the day I was pronounced cancer-free and the day a dream became reality with the opening of the Children’s Healing Center.

A forever partner has been a beautiful addition to my life. As a naturally independent person, I didn’t realize how meaningful having a teammate would be. On a recent walk home from church, I shared with Steven that my thoughts were focused on an annual scan I had coming up. I was mentally planning our life if I had cancer, including that Steven would have to go to the grocery store solo!

Follow up scans are routine post cancer treatment, but they still impact my emotions in ways I cannot predict. He kindly offered to join me for the early morning scan. My instinctual response was that coming to my appointment wasn’t a good use of his time. Waiting in hospitals is exhausting and I will be back in the scanner a majority of the time. I have been going to scans by myself for almost 10 years anyway. He acknowledged the truth in my sentiments, then replied if having him come would ease my anxious heart, it would be worth it.

What a gift it is to have people to do life with.

Family, friends and coworkers have helped me battle cancer and turn my journey into the Children’s Healing Center. They encouraged, me as my relationship with Steven deepened, and surrounded us as we pledged our love forever. Love from friends is lifeblood to me and the importance of connection is at the core of why I created the Center.

We know that loneliness and isolation can have negative effects on a child who has a weakened immune system. Our programing is designed to create meaningful experiences and relationships for kids and their families. We remember names, ask about important life events, make connections between families and listen with our hearts.

We all can bring intentional connection to our lives. Let’s reach out to a friend or forever partner today, ask something meaningful and listen. Maybe we can ease an anxious heart by just being there.

Amanda Barbour

CHC Founder & Executive Director