In honor of this vitally important month, I want to share an inspiring story with you. It’s about a member of our H&H family, Marilyn Springs, who has been with us for over 20 years.
Many of you reading this know her, and for that, you are fortunate. If you don’t know Marilyn, by the end of this article, you will have a better sense of her determination, her toughness and her character.
Throughout her tenure at H&H, the service Marilyn has provided to her clients has been unparalleled. She’s extremely knowledgeable in her profession offering sound advice to clients. She’s also compassionate and understanding when clients are facing unfortunate circumstances. Marilyn is the one so many look to, not just in our office, but in our entire industry, for advice, guidance and support. To say she means the world to us does not begin to describe how important Marilyn Springs is to our H&H family.
In early 2012, we received the tragic news that Marilyn had been diagnosed with breast cancer. We were all devastated, but we did our best to remain positive. We knew Marilyn would approach this fight with the same level of determination she brings to our office each day. And fight she has.
The schedule of chemotherapy, radiation and follow-up appointments she endured for more than a year was brutal to say the least. But she never gave up. She even remained fiercely committed to her career. In fact, her dedication to her clients and her colleagues here at H&H was apparent from the beginning of her battle.
When Marilyn had the option to set her chemo and radiation schedule, she opted for the earliest appointment available. She would be on the road to Columbus before 6:00 a.m., receive her treatment and as long as the cancer center was on time, she would return to work around lunch time. This went on for months. Through feelings of extreme fatigue and nausea, sadness and at times hopelessness, Marilyn never missed one day of work. How’s that for toughness?
Within days of learning about Marilyn’s condition, I was asked to make a donation to help fund breast cancer research. The individual requesting this donation had no idea the news I’d learned about just days before. It was one of those coincidences that looking back, could not have been a coincidence. In return for my donation, I was given this pink bracelet that has not left my wrist since that day. It began as my small way of supporting Marilyn, but as months of treatment piled up and I could see first-hand the struggles she was facing, it became a reminder that no matter what challenge I encountered in my life, it paled in comparison to the fight she had each day.
Without ever knowing, or even setting out to do so, she taught each of us incredible life lessons through her remarkable example. We’re extremely happy and blessed to share that Marilyn was recently given an optimistic outlook from her oncologist. While we can never be certain about what the future holds, we’re incredibly thankful that for the time being, Marilyn is doing well. She has returned to her normal routine here at H&H, and mostly normal day-to-day activities with one major exception: she recently became a grandma to a beautiful little girl, Norah.
If this is the first you’ve heard about Marilyn’s incredible story, don’t be surprised. She’s a very private person and did not want her condition to affect her work. In fact, it took a fair amount of convincing before she agreed to have us tell you her story. According to Marilyn, she’s no different than anyone else fighting this battle. From the perspective of those of us that feel blessed to work with her, we believed it was an inspiring story worth sharing, and perhaps could provide hope to those facing similar situations.
From the beginning of her fight, it’s been Marilyn’s preference that no one treat her any different than they did before. That feeling remains to this day so if you speak to Marilyn, feel free to share in the happiness of where she is today. However, don’t expect her to indulge in conversations about her tough road or the obstacles she still faces… it’s not her style.