I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2019. I was fortunate to have caught the cancer early (get dem mammograms ladies!) and to have access to a group of doctors who were incredibly talented, considerate, and thorough.
Throughout the treatment process, there were moments when someone (friends, family, coworkers, fellow patients, doctors, hospital staff) offered encouraging words or a thoughtful gift and each one of those moments helped to make the process a little easier. It ultimately impacted my whole outlook in a positive way.
I have created a non-profit organization called DeDe’s Gift in order to pay forward those acts of kindness. My mission with DeDe’s Gift is to lift one small burden, “one less worry,” in the form of free parking to patients and their loved ones who are dealing with long-term medical treatments.
Initially, donations will go to hospitals in Ohio and Maryland. My future goal is to continue to grow DeDe's Gift in order to cover parking at more hospitals in those states and beyond.
The name DeDe is a nickname for one of my dear friends, Docia Grimm, who passed away in February 2019 as a result of complications from radiation treatments she received 11 years prior. DeDe was incredibly dedicated to her family, her friends, her work, and her commitment to educating women on health and wellness. She inspired me through her determination to make changes in the world for the better. She never stopped fighting. I want to honor her memory through these gifts to people who have long-term medical issues like she did.