Word of Mind, Word of Mouth

Kambria facing fight with cancer

Special to The CambrianFebruary 2, 2013 

There are people who are more than just mothers, they are teachers — and there are people who are more than just teachers, they are mothers.

I am not a religious person but I am religious about some things, like taking care of others. I suppose that’s why Cambria is such a good fit because that’s what we do here. Besides, I’ve seen first-hand the power of prayer/intention/love.

Even if you don’t know Kambria Doherty, if you went anywhere near a local newsstand last week you saw the exquisite portrait of an absolutely beautiful young family, including a newborn. The five of them are on a journey the likes of which you hope you’ll never have to go on, a journey for life. But, the love that shines from that photograph should prove a worthy road map for healing of their souls.

We all have the option when faced with difficult situations, to retreat within and grind through or, as in Kambria’s case, you embrace it, face it full on, use the experience to bring comfort and enlightenment to others — particularly to those you care about most — your family and, in her case, her students. I know the psyche is buoyed through service, love and gratitude. She is the embodiment of those tenets right now.

As a Coast Unified School District board trustee, I am privy to much information, including about Kambria’s discovery of a vast array of cancer in her body. The news came in the form of a copy of the letter she sent her middle school students, as mentioned in last week’s Cambrian.
I asked if would be OK to share with the community at large.

“I know my students and the community have embraced my fight and I really appreciate it,” Kambria wrote. “I cannot say how much it means to me to see how many lives I have touched.”

That letter sent ripples flowing over Facebook and back. Parents heard the news from their college-aged children, the word continued to grow. And so did the fundraising ideas. Fellow teachers in the district have pooled days off to give her more time. The “family” has sprung into action. So can you.

More from Kambria: “I also feel that positive thinking can help to prolong my life. Every day counts at this point and I will be happy for every day that I get to spend with my family and friends. We are just going to have to wait and see how it all plays out, but at this point I am hopeful that I can live a lot longer than the docs/ statistics have given.”

So what can you do? Make a monetary contribution — you know how overwhelming it can be financially. Drop off a dollar or two or a lot more — if it’s a spontaneous act while you’re reading this at the coffee shop, I know you can do so at the school district office on Main St., or go to www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/ kambria-wesch-doherty-battles-cancer/37917.

As well as Kambria’s love of her family and students, there’s been mention of her stubbornness and let’s-get-this-done attitude (I know, I’m on the school board, remember?). To that end, I say let that spirit and sense of caring and love and commitment carry her family and friends and community to peace and well-being. A two-minute prayer will move quickly on the wind. Brother, sister, can you spare the time?

•  •  •

Fundraisers for Kambria Wesch-Doherty

Pasta, salad and bread dinner, $10. Other baked goods available for purchase. Dine in or drive through. Tickets from students, at all school libraries, Coast Unified School District office and Gym One. Santa Lucia Middle School and Coast Union High School students host the event. 4 to 7 p.m Thursday, Feb. 7, Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., Cambria.

Silent auction with live music, beer, wine and food. Louie Ortega plays at 1 p.m., Shameless at 2 p.m. and The Stellar Band at 3 p.m. Donations accepted at the door; auction donors can call Elizabeth Appel, 927-3693.1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Cambria Pines Lodge, 2905 Burton Drive.

Silent auction, “Bearcat” tri-tip sandwiches, local wines and beer, live music by Cuesta Ridge and Nada Rasta. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, Paso Robles Event Center, 2198 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles. $20, tickets at Kahuna’s Surf, 817 12th St., Paso Robles. Kambria’s family and friends host.

Donations may also be made online at http://bit.ly/WmiiL9 and www.caringbridge.org (search for "Kambria" in the "visit someone" box).

UPDATE, Monday, Feb. 18: The location of the Feb. 23 fundraiser has been changed due to rain in the forecast.

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at tiedi@att.net, or visit her web site at www.ladytiedi.com.

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