Linda D'Antonio founder
I am married to a wonderful man, have four beautiful children and 9 grandchildren. My life has always been very fulfilling. I have always enjoyed volunteering and having the opportunity to give back. It has been a passion of mine to help others. In my early 40’s, I was diagnosis with breast cancer. Like so many others,
I was never prepared to hear the word cancer but I knew from that moment on, my life would be changed forever. I needed to understand how to control the fears that now were facing me. I had to understand how to live with this disease and not let it control my life.
9 years later, my older sister, Rosie, was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. The irony was that my breast cancer returned and Rosie passed away 2 weeks after my surgery. I had watched her go through her ordeal and at the same time, deal with my disease. This was truly very difficult.
We are all so blessed in metro Detroit to have so many wonderful medical doctors and facilities to treat us. I received excellent care at Henry Ford Hospital. I attribute my survival to their care and concern. The nurses and doctors and all the staff were there guiding me throughout my ordeal. The love and support I received from so many friends and family truly helped me sustain this period of my life.I wanted to give back, so I started volunteering with Henry Ford Hospital. Quite often, a newly diagnosis patient was given my phone number and I would try to help support them. I knew the fear.
As I talked to various individuals, I realized that for many, it is difficult to move forward. During the treatment, everyone is there to support us, but when that’s over, then what? How do I move forward? Who understands what I am feeling?That is how Hearts2Love was born. I had a vision, creating a retreat that would allow a survivor the opportunity to identify who they are. Who is that person in the mirror? How do I understand the importance of being in control of this “uninvited guest”. There needed to be a bridge from cancer patient to cancer survivor. There needed to be a “place” where a survivor could go for a short weekend, relax and express their inner feelings as well as connect with other survivors.
We know the scripture “love is the greatest gift of all” Without love, nothing else matters. Love is the strength that sustains us through this journey and helps us understand how truly beautiful life is. God loves me just as I am!
From my heart 2 your heart, let us share the beautiful gift of love and continue to journey forward.From my heart to your heart, let love stand strong.