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“A Good Day in The Midst of a Dark Storm”

No one is ever prepared for a disease like cancer.  It can be physically, mentally and financially devastating — especially if you live in an outlying area and have to travel to a treatment center for chemo and radiation five days a week. Such is the story of a precious couple from southern Oklahoma that we have come to know and love. We’ll call them Sue and John to respect their privacy.


It all started with what Sue thought was a bad ear ache in August 2019, the same month they were expecting a new grandbaby. John had been laid off from his job because of Covid, so they had time to take their travel trailer to Tulsa for the birth. 


While they were there, Sue’s ear got worse. They went to an urgent care where she was given antibiotics for an ear infection. It didn’t help.


Back home, Sue’s condition continued to get worse and she now had developed seizures. They went to an Emergency Room where they told her she had strep throat. Then they were referred to an ENT doctor, who said it looked like cancer, but he needed a biopsy to be sure. To get a biopsy, she had to have a referral from her primary care physician to put her under anesthesia due to her seizures. No one would sign off on the biopsy because of her seizures. 


All of these appointments and procedures cleaned out their small savings, and John was not able to find work because of Covid and needing to care for his wife. But they pressed onward, finally getting the help they needed at the ER at OU Medicine in Oklahoma City. There, John said, the first bomb was dropped on them: Stage 4 throat cancer.


Back home and broke, we were in our darkest hour when the most amazing thing happened. This Care Pack came to our home from someone we didn’t even know and who had requested a bag for us. We felt this little package had come straight from heaven. It had a water bottle, a jacket, fuzzy socks, lotion and lip balm, gas cards and grocery cards…and wonderful messages of love and hope. My wife’s face was aglow with tears of joy. After all the bad we’d had dumped in our laps, this gift made us believe that people really do care. It gave us a really good day in the midst of a really bad storm.


“We got on the internet and looked up Tenaciously Teal and read about what they do and about Tarah Warren and all she’d been through. We called to thank her personally for the good work they do. We felt she and whoever sent it to us were our guardian angels. We’d really like to thank the other lady too if we could find out who she is.”


John and Sue felt their prayers had been answered when Sue’s tumor went into remission. However, unfortunately, it returned several months later, and just last month they found themselves on the 3rd floor of Stephenson Cancer Center again for more treatment.


“We were sitting there on another really bad day, and I saw a woman handing out a Care Pack who looked like Tarah. I remember her pretty eyes from her pics on their website. She saw me staring at her and came over to meet us. Sure enough, it was her. It was amazing! Meeting Tarah was even better than receiving the Care Pack. She asked if she could pray with us before we left. There’s a lot of power in prayer, you know.


“We have stayed in touch and Tenaciously Teal has continued to help us in very special ways, like getting us a motel room for a few nights so we didn’t have to travel there and back home every day. It made a huge difference.


“We have no money left, but if I did, I wish I could pay them back for all the good things they have done for us so they can pass it on to someone else. I can only pray that our story will touch someone else to donate so Tenaciously Teal can continue their miraculous work of sharing love and hope.  don’t know if we’d ever gotten this far without them. God bless them. And God bless those who support their good works.”


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