By Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation
There aren’t many silver linings in the world of pediatric cancer.
For parents, hearing the words “Your child has cancer” marks the beginning of a horrifying journey filled with anxiety, fear and, in most cases, significant financial insecurity.
For the Johnson family, this nightmare became a reality in 2013 when their daughter Emery was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 3. They experienced fear for the fate of their child and their unknown future as a family.
When a child is battling cancer, it’s common for at least one parent to take a significant amount of time off work in order to be with the child through treatment. This often results in a substantial reduction in income coupled with the sudden financial burden of medical bills.
During Emery’s 26 months of treatment, her father Ethan, the wine club manager at Melville Winery, was able to take the time he needed to be with his daughter. Ron and Chad Melville, the owners of Melville Winery, wanted to help but didn’t know how.
Shortly after Emery’s diagnosis, the Johnsons learned about Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and were able to receive financial and emotional support. The foundation helped pay for the Johnsons’ rent, utilities, car payments and gas as well as offering overall support during Emery’s treatment.
When remembering the time during Emery’s treatment, her family wrote, “Teddy Bear was there for our family from day one. They arranged a hotel room for us so we could be close to our daughter in the hospital and they even brought a cake to help celebrate Emery’s dad’s birthday during her hospital stay.”
The Melville team was so inspired by the work of the foundation that they made a mental note to find a way to support the organization in the future.
Five years later, Melvilles’ idea is bearing fruit. They have dedicated a half-acre block within their vineyard to honor Emery’s journey back to health and are using the fruit from her section to produce Emery’s Pinot Noir. And they are donating 100 percent of the proceeds from each bottle to the foundation.
“Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation stepped up when the Johnsons had their world turned upside down. They helped give them financial and emotional support, so they could really focus on the bigger picture of fighting the disease. Their behind-the-scenes work is incredibly admirable and humbling. We are honored to have the opportunity to pay it forward,” Ron Melville said.
Emery is now a happy, healthy 7-year-old and is thriving in the second grade.
For more information or to buy a bottle of Emery’s Pinot Noir, visit www.melvillewinery.com or TeddyBearCancerFoundation.org, or call 805-962-7466.