Thank you for making this fundraiser a success. We were able to fund the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii for Sonja and her daughter Madison.
In May 2016, Navy veteran Sonja Frederic was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. After ten months and 32 rounds of Chemotherapy, Sonja’s Cancer returned and began taking over her other organs. As a single-parent, Sonja is fearful to leave her 18 year old daughter Madison behind. With only a short time of her life remaining, Sonja hopes to share a vacation with her daughter in hopes of leaving her with a lasting memory.
It is with my heartfelt thanks for choosing me as a Reunite the Fight fund raiser recipient. Growing up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, with two older sisters, my father was an Officer in the Army and served with honor in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. There he earned a Bronze Star and is currently an active recorder of military history for the Library of Congress.
Shortly after finishing high school in 1989, I joined the Navy and earned the rate of corpsman and began a career at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital in North Carolina. I took advantage of every class, certification, and opportunity to try something different. My favorite times were being assigned to a Marine Corp. Company as their “doc” where I was given the nickname of “Hollywood”. My most memorable moment was when I was deployed on the U.S.S Whibey Island, amphibious assault carrier, providing humanitarian aid to Haitian refugees.
I ended my military career honorably with a medical discharge. In 1999 my world changed when I gave birth to my daughter Madison. She is now entering adulthood and has become a well-rounded, smart, and kind young lady full of potential. It looks as though Madison will be attending the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio to fulfill her dreams of becoming a teacher.
After my discharge I immediately began the journey of healing at the VA while utilizing everything that has been available to me including education, groups, and individual therapy. The Vet Center has always been a safe place for me, and if it hadn’t have been for the Vet Center care I would not have been able to provide a happy and safe home for my child.
I have made a living of getting pushed down and getting back up again. In the beginning, I was able to bounce back quickly, now it is one knee at a time. At times I feel like I am gripping at the proverbial sword. However, through all the darkness there have been moments of unselfish acts, true love, and happiness.