CARENET PRC Annual Banquet
“He hath made everything beautiful in His time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Liz Jacoby, wife of Pastor David Jacoby from Messiah Lutheran Church ushered in our 16th Annual Banquet on October 18th by playing the violin as guests arrived.
After everyone was settled in our Board President Bruce Binney, who attends Mission of Grace Church in Gardner, opened with prayer and blessings for our food and for our rescue mission.
We sat down to a wonderful meal of roasted chicken breast with green beans and mushrooms and a healthy helping of mashed potatoes. And a great big piece of carrot cake for dessert.
Next came our Executive Director, Gail Gardner who invited us to open the gift box on the table which contained two pre-born baby fetal models.
She then told the story of a wonderful gift the center received from the Knights of Columbus. A gift of a new Ultrasound Machine that allows us to show Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and family a picture of the womb.
Each year we present our Pro-Life Achievement Award to a member of our community that honors life and our work. This year our award went to Dr. Mark Conrad, founder of the Northeast Pregnancy Resource Center Coalition. Started in 2006, the Coalition has brought powerful training programs to us. The most recent was John Ensor author of “Answering the Call” and president of PassionLife Ministries. Mark was born and raised on the South Shore and retired from the US Navy in 2003.
Lorraine was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2017. The diagnosis came just two days before her thirty first birthday. She was told that she had to go on a hormone blocker and would probably never be able to have children. It would be another month before she realized she was pregnant. Her oncologist told her that pregnant women have had chemotherapy before and were able to have beautiful healthy babies. It had its risks and not every doctor on her cancer team felt this way. She said, “It became quite clear to me that my baby was my silver lining. My little angel to get me through cancer.” Being told that one of the risks with both the mastectomy and chemotherapy was preterm labor and lower birth weights, and since this was her first pregnancy she was desperate for knowledge to prepare myself for any outcome. She said, “I googled pregnancy classes in Fitchburg and found CareNet Pregnancy Resource Center. Each week I came in and received my own pregnancy class with two nurses. They taught me the signs and symptoms of labor and what to expect in a preterm situation. While going through the hardest time in my life, I was grateful to have them as a resource because they provided me with so much comfort and peace in unknown territory.”
After surviving a left sided mastectomy and a 16 week cycle of chemotherapy, her son Liam was born on Valentine’s Day, 2018. How fitting that he would be born on a day of extra love. “He is truly my little miracle and we made it through with help from family and from my friends at CareNet Pregnancy Resource Center.”
Our evening continued as Father Len Cowan, a priest serving in the Anglican Diocese of New England brought us a pro-life message. He reminded us that God indeed makes everything beautiful in His time. Cancer is hard and not a beautiful thing but a son is precious and beautiful.
“Let it be said of us, while we walked among the living, Let it be said of us, by the ones we leave behind, Let it be said of us, that we lived to be a blessing for life.”
Our own board member Jackie Edme sings John Wallers song “The Blessing.”
“This day, you set life, you set death right before us, This day, every blessing and curse is a choice now, And we will choose to be a blessing for life.”