Sep 12, 201209:04 AMDaily News
Breaking news, practical tips, useless trivia, media reviews and more
Coping with Cancer: Finding the good in people
Editor’s note: This is the third in a five-part series examining the Beltz family of Carlisle, who is celebrating the fourth year of remission for their young son Xander. To learn more about the Beltz family, check out Monday and Tuesday’s articles.
There was the bartender at Red Robin.
And the woman at Bath & Body Works.
In addition to the college kids that had adopted them, the Beltz family was starting to see the good in people everywhere.
When Xander was diagnosed with cancer, Dave and Dava weren’t necessarily the most positive people who saw the good in people. But as with every facet of their lives, this changed, too.
Shortly after learning about Xander’s diagnosis, his parents went to Red Robin for a much-needed break from the hospital and chaos. They talked with the bartender about everything that had happened, and he was kind enough to really listen.
He also was kind enough to pick up their tab.
In another instance, a woman at Bath & Body Works overheard Dave and Dava talking with the cashier. They were trying to figure out what they would need for Xander and themselves as they stayed in Hershey.
The woman bought a $25 gift card for the family and told the cashier not to give it to them until she left.
“At this point, we were still the most negative people on the planet,” Dave said.
That began to change, and four years later they still see the good in people.
“It’s hard to be blessed when you’re not used to receiving, but people just want to give,” Dava said. “It’s very humbling to have to rely on the charity of others when you don’t have that choice. But we had to learn, otherwise we weren’t going to survive.”
Of course, there were always some that were still negative.
At one point during his treatment, Xander was healthy enough to go outside a little bit. His parents took him to the Tanger Outlets in Hershey just to get him out and take him shopping. He wore a mask to protect him from germs and keep him from getting sicker, and he was bald from the chemo.
Dava heard a parent tell her kids to, “Stay away from that little boy, he’s sick.”
“People are ignorant,” Dava said. “They just don’t know because they don’t have to live through it.”
But the good has far outweighed the bad, and few instances like the one at the outlets haven’t overshadowed the Beltz’ new-found faith in people.
Since they can never truly pay back those who have helped them, Dave and Dava are focused on paying it forward and helping out strangers, just like others did for them.
“You do the best you can to be as kind as you can to others,” Dava said. “Pay forward and learn from your experiences. Try to make it a little lighter for the next person.”
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web at Central Penn Parent. Check back tomorrow to see what advice the Beltzes give to parents in this situation and how they got through it stronger than ever.