As a husband and father, Scott Stamps knows he can’t afford to flinch in his personal fight against the unforgiving foe of cancer. But hard financial times forced him to face a fear many parents would find almost as daunting as his diagnosis: telling his daughter that Christmas—at least in the material sense—wouldn’t come to their home this year.
“My daughter is older—she’s 15,” the 46-year-old Palm City resident said. “She doesn’t get a lot and doesn’t expect anything. But to not be able to do anything—it was a little stressful. We had absolutely nothing under the tree.”
Fortunately, Christmas did arrive in abundance at the Stamps’ home, however, thanks to the Visiting Nurses Association of Florida.
“When it comes to our patients we really try to treat the health and well being of the whole person,” said Don Crow, CEO of VNA of Florida. “Our nurses make it a point to know not only our patients’ medical issues but also their families, their cares and their concerns. It may not be something that shows up on a medical report but if it’s a hardship the patient is facing and we can be of help, the entire organization chips in to make a difference.”
Usually, the Visiting Nurse Foundation works with the nurses to learn the needs of patients struggling with tough financial circumstances and then ascertains what level of relief the foundation can provide. This time Stamps’ nurse, Pam Kennedy, noted the needs of the family, asking what gifts Scott, his wife, Rosetta, and his daughter, Tiffany, would most like to receive. Names of the items were hung on a Christmas tree at the main office of the VNA of Florida (which serves 17 counties across the state) in Stuart. The employees—honoring a company Christmas tradition where they provide presents to their patients most in need—each went shopping on behalf of the Stamps family.
“(Pam) is a very wonderful person,” Stamps said. “She asked what we needed for Christmas and what my daughter needed. She got a bunch of clothes and things… a big basket of food.”
As part of her participation in the 4-H program, Tiffany is raising a heifer to show in the Martin County Fair. The cow needed a halter for the coming competition so Stamps included it on the family’s wish list almost as an afterthought, thinking it unlikely anyone would seek out the halter. But the VNA’s Linda Hall bought the halter and Darlene Samra got Tiffany a cow comb and brush.
“They went to Okeechobee to get it,” said Stamps, still surprised. “I’m not sure how they did that. They made it happen.
“They’ve made the last couple days of this year a little better.”
For more information, please visit https://vnaflorida.org/.
This story is contributed by a member of the Treasure Coast community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with TCPalm.com