For many years, Beth, 55, of Baltimore couldn’t shake the nickname her sister and friends gave her.
“They called me Balloon Hand Beth because whenever someone needed something, my hand would float up to volunteer,” says Beth.
Beth has always been very active and willing to pitch in. In her professional life, she has worked tirelessly to improve her city’s environment one planted tree at a time as the Director of the Office of Sustainability in Baltimore. Most days, if she’s not helping out a relative or preparing to host a family holiday party, she can be found in her garden, meticulously growing her own food.
“In the garden, things don’t stay the same. Sometimes a flower doesn’t come back or you have to move things around to make it right. It’s just like life. You have to adjust to your new normal,” says Beth.
Beth has had to use this same philosophy when she was diagnosed with a rare form of stage IV appendix cancer. After multiple surgeries and chemotherapy regimens left her weak and unable to do the things she loved, for the first time in her life, Balloon Hand Beth was the one who had to ask for help. This is her palliative care story.