Wednesday, May 9, 2012


“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
― Markus ZusakI am the Messenger

Samantha Meyer is beautiful.  She is everything you see in the stunning photos of her- and so much more.  Some of you may recognize her from the State Bank Pay it Forward video finalists.  

A few days before the voting ended, I sat down and watched some of the other videos.  It turns out Samantha and I have a lot in common.  First of all she is a photographer and this is her photography site.  Second, Samantha's story is staggering. Its compelling, and important and grabs you by the heartstrings.  

I have selected this passage from her Shoot for Sam introduction:

"Samantha is a sweet, active 25 year old that has conquered a lot in the last year, but her battle isn't quite over.

In 2010 she became pregnant with her first child, and lost her unborn baby at 5 months due to complications. After that tragic loss, Samantha decided to try again and became pregnant in 2011. This pregnancy was found out to be a cervical pregnancy, and Sam was life-flighted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She was hospitalized for a month. While there she endured emergency surgery, and lost the fetus and her uterus in order to save her life. 

In addition to going through losing two babies, she also has a rare genetic disorder called BRCA1 where she is an extremely high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  On March 13th of this year, she underwent a double mastectomy and  will be having her ovaries removed later this year." 

You should read her own version of the events here for yourself.  She chronicles her journey through a journal that is real, honest, warm and heartbreaking all at the same time.  And- she is only 25 years old.  

I don't know how you process all that she has been through.  But she is a grace girl whose compassion knows no bounds.  

Samantha's mom contacted me right before the State Bank event.  She wasn't able to come.  She wanted me to know she voted for me and prays for me. Gulp.  

Then I got to meet Samantha the next Monday at the State Bank ceremony. She is absolutely radiant, and I think the light emanates from within.

She gave me heartfelt congratulations after I won.  Since then we have emailed a few times.  

Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway.  ~John Wayne

Sam has a big week this week!  It was hard to hear her story for me, and know she hadn't won the contest.  But I am beginning to see that maybe she didn't win- because a bigger day was in store for her.  

Samantha's benefit is this Thursday, May 10th.  You can read all the details about it here.

I don't know if Rick and I can attend (chemo week), but I thought it was worth sharing her story which she graciously allowed me to do.  We also have a few ideas on how we will "Pay it Forward," as so many of you have done for us. 

Would you keep this sweet girl and her loved ones in your prayers?  She still has a daunting road ahead of her.  

I keep stepping forward in faith and praying the cancer can be knocked down or at least corralled.  

She steps forward in faith hoping cancer never stands a chance with her.  

Both of us have had to sacrifice a lot, either way.  

Have you had your mammogram yet this year?  


  1. Beautiful! Thank you so much for writing about her. I wish you the best on your roads ahead, as you too, are a beautiful lady who is strong and courageous!

  2. Both of you are strong and courageous! I will be praying for the both of you!

  3. Thank you for posting this, Vicky. If I ran into her on the street I would think, "What a beautiful girl and probably doesn't have a care in the world." We simply cannot ever know what someone else is going through just by looking and evaluating. I'm so sorry that she has had such tragic trials at her young age but she couldn't have found a better friend than you. Praying that God will take what the locusts ate and restore it to her in ways and in blessings she could not have imagined.

  4. Yes, I will pray for her. And Wow! You both show such strength and courage. I only hope I have half of what you two have!
    I'm going to go watch her story now. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. Since I've gotten sick, I've never read so many sad, stories nor seen so much death. At times it gets me very down. BUT..mostly it inspires me to keep trekking. If these young girls, can have hope, and keep can I. And some of them--will never have what some of us have had..such as children. Its all very heart wrenching at times...but we must pray for one another, life each other up and move on. and HOPE. I pray for your next treatment to be easy on your body. I'm getting a port in on Monday and then treatment the following week. This will be my 2nd port attempt! Prayers are appreciated..

  6. Oh Vicky THANK YOU for sharing her story - i haven't even read her words yet but just your words have about slayed me - in a good way.

    It will be an honor to pray for her! Glory to God - thank you for all you are doing in Vicky and sweet Sam - may they both be blessed in your Holy name - Amen!

    And yes, I got my yearly mamo on the 5th :)

    BIG hugs!

  7. You are both in my prayers.. courageous women, you are. Beautiful inside and out.

  8. Words escape me...but heartfelt prayers being sent for you both. Both of you are an inspiration to us all!

  9. Wow, that's a great post about Samantha. I wish I could meet her!

  10. I will follow through and read her story. For now, I want to put out a request before I get ready and go off to teach high school students. The business teacher at school and his wife are facing their own battle: she is having breast cancer surgery this afternoon. Please lift them up in your prayers. Five years ago they went through a grueling year of dealing with and recovering from a brain anerysm in him (on Christmas morning). She was a strong advocate/supporter for him and now he is rising up to be one for her.

  11. I read her story; it was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Hard to explain that, but I think you understand, my sweet friend.
    To Beth (comment above mine)...I will pray for the business teacher and his wife. Our prayers are united and lifted up before our Father.)

  12. Yes, I have Vicky. Thanks for the reminder. And for highlighting this amazing gal. Wow. Your tribute to her is beautiful and helps me glimpse her heart and soul. Thinking of you both!

  13. This just leaves me without adequate words. What two courageous and giving women you both are.


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