GARDNER, N.D. — The holiday season can be a stressful time, especially when life presents you with an unpredictable challenge.
A vacuum roared inside Merideth Sorenson's home Friday, Dec. 6, as volunteers with Home Helper Services made room for a Christmas tree her family expects to get on Saturday.
The group of Christmas helpers were making Sorensen's fight with cancer just a little less hard by tidying up her home for the holidays.
Sorenson is battling an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The 36-year-old has been battling the disease for the past year and a half, even while giving birth to her baby girl, Hope, who she says gives her hope each day.
"We call her a miracle baby. I did three rounds of chemo with her," Sorenson said.
Despite treatment at the Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic, nothing has worked. She has been turned down for several clinical trials, including at the University of Minnesota, and is currently waiting to hear from a center in Maryland, but her pain is getting worse. She recently had to spend three weeks in the hospital and this could be her last Christmas with her family.
"You just want everything to be OK and go away," she said through tears.
Sorenson's fight with cancer has been a public one. It even caught the attention of music star Andy Grammer a few months ago. Grammer met privately with her after his concert in the Twin Cities and they sang his hit "Don't Give Up on Me" together.
Along with her love for Andy Grammer, the mother of four also likes to keep her home clean. But the pain she suffers from cancer and her husband working 14-hour days makes cleaning very difficult.
Home Helper Services, along with some community volunteers, gave her two-story home a deep clean. The bill was swept under the rug as part of a partnership with Cleaning for a Reason, an organization that helps cancer patients clean their homes.
"A mom is the heart of the family," said Jeffrey Skinner with Home Helper Services. "Even (with) what she is going through, (she) still needs to clean and keep up with the laundry."
If you know someone battling cancer and can use a hand at home, Cleaning For A Reason can help.