Michelle's Love is there for cancer-stricken mothers
Dawn Pecoraro adopts woman and her daughters for Christmas
Andy McCandless lost her best friend to cancer in 2005. Michelle Singleton was only 32 years old. She was a single mother with four children.
For a while McCandless was crushed with feelings of futility and sorrow. But she wasnt that way for long. Instead, she started an organization in Singletons honor called Michelles Love. It shows love for young mothers enduring the same dilemma endured by Singleton: women suffering from cancer and being unable to give enough care for their children.
After seeing what Michelle went through, I wanted to help somebody, McCandless said. It turned into something bigger.
Michelles Love is now big enough to reach into Lake Oswego to adopt a family for Christmas. Darlene, whose last name wasnt provided to protect her familys privacy, is a single mom with two daughters, Danielle and Erica, and she is suffering from cancer. Because of Michelles Love, her holiday was much brighter.
Michelles Love has a bunch of eager volunteers who can be counted on to show up and help a struggling mom. But in Darlenes case it was Dawn Pecoraro who really stepped forward. Pecoraro was already very busy as an officer in the Lake Oswego Police Department and was already doing charity work in the community. But when she found out about Michelles Love, something clicked for Pecoraro.
I saw a news clip on them a few months back, she said. It sort of inspired me. Then I saw their website and called Andy. I said, Hey, Im available. It is so traumatic for a single mom to go through cancer. I asked myself, What if my best friend went through this? The passion to help in Michelles Love really struck me.
Soon after Pecoraro became involved she took the step of adopting Darlene and her girls for Christmas. Joining her in the adoption was Jessica Lindley, another Lake Oswego resident. She is also a single mother and is fighting papillary thyroid cancer.
On Dec. 23, Pecoraro, Lindley and McCandless all showed up at Darlenes home in Lake Oswego, providing cleaning, cooking, financial help and gifts for the daughters. Santa Claus was quite outclassed.
Darlene sent McCandless a message: Merry Christmas and thank you. My girls loved everything and I thank those angels who made our Christmas special.
Darlene was grateful to Michelles Love, and McCandless was grateful to Dawn Pecoraro.
We have 400 people in our database, McCandless said. But Dawn is one in a million. Since she found out about ML she has donated money, adopted Darlene for Christmas and, most importantly, shared our ML story with pretty much everyone.
For more information, go to the website michelleslove.org.