About 2SWC.org – Our Organization History
In June of 2003, eleven months after we were engaged, Susan was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Our lives immediately changed forever. We would never be able to look at our lives the same way again. We now had a new reality, a new life, a life with cancer.
Living her “new” life with cancer, Susan sometimes felt disconnected from the rest of the world, which made her feel isolated and depressed. To help us escape our worries and feel connected to the world, Susan and I would go out for a “dinner and a show”. This was a special night for Susan. She would get all dressed up. We would have dinner at a nice restaurant with friends and then see a musical at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly. Even though she would be tired when the evening was over, her spirits were refreshed and for a short while she felt connected to the outside world.
Since 2006, I have been participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life with my family in Maryland and Virginia. After Susan’s passing, I formed the “Susan’s Hope” team and participated in the 2011 and 2012 Relay For Life of Cape Ann. I was also the event chairperson for the 2012 Relay.
In 2013 I felt the need to do something more direct and personal for local cancer survivors. The positive impact on Susan’s life from a simple dinner and a show is what prompted me to start To Show We Care in her memory. I wanted to give cancer patients and survivors an opportunity to forget their worries and enjoy life, just as Susan and I were able to do.
I organized To Show We Care as a not-for-profit program of the Gloucester Assembly of God Church. The goal of the all-volunteer organization is to provide a respite to patients, survivors and caregivers from their medical issues by inviting them to enjoy a theatrical or musical performance at no charge.
With help of just a few friends and the North Shore Music Theatre, on August 23, 2013, To Show We Care hosted over 130 cancer survivors and guests to the musical Cats! All were treated to a pre-show reception of hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment followed by a post-show photo op with cast members. The event surpassed all expectations and was truly a magical evening. The reviews from our guests were fantastic!
Fueled by the success of this event, our goal is to invite not only cancer patients, but anyone affected by life-threatening illness to more shows in the coming months. We are scheduling events for patients and care givers, children and adults. In the works is an event for those who have recently lost a loved one.
I sincerely hope that you will join us in providing a temporary escape for people in our community that are living with a life-threatening illness. We want our guests to escape for a night on us, have some fun and feel the love of a community that cares.
Stephen M. Tyler, Founder/President