Today, millions of people will be exchanging flowers to express their love. Roses are a favorite Valentine gift- over 250 million roses are produced annually for Valentines day. Roses are a unique combination with thorny stems and fragrant smells they are the perfect symbol of achievement. After the long stem of thorns you are met with the beautiful flower and fragrant smell.
Myeloma Coach “Rosie Renee” knew well the thorny path of adversity and through it discovered and shared her beautiful gift of giving.
When faced with adversity or trials, it is easy to turn inward, get discouraged and lose hope. Not for Renee Finch. No matter her life circumstances, she has chosen to always look for the rainbow. She chooses to illuminate the dark moments of life by discovering bright spots of inspiration and to create these for others around her.
In November of 2020 when Renee was diagnosed with myeloma she chose to look outward and find ways she could lift others, rather than focus on herself. When she traveled to Memorial Sloan Kettering to receive her treatment she would arm herself with 18 long stemmed roses in various colors with attached motivational messages. She shared them one at a time with others “as she was instructed to do by God.”
Some of the messages were simple: “Find a quiet moment each day to renew your sense of wonder.” Others contained Bible verses. Renee has given out nearly 800 roses with hand written notes.
Renee is a Christian and her personal relationship with Jesus guides and directs her path. She is quick to notice small, simple things. For instance, the roses she purchased to share stayed fresh for up to two weeks - nearly twice as long as cut roses usually last. She prayed each week about who to give a rose to. She shared, “Many times, I’d meet somebody in the hallway and give them a rose and they’d start crying. There were several times I would hand out a rose and the recipient shared it was their birthday. I had no idea but God did.”
Renee and her husband Ernie of 34 years (whom she met in Sunday school) are no strangers to trials. When facing major life trials they decided, “You can have happiness or you can have joy,” and “Joy is not based on your circumstances.” Even amidst her myeloma diagnosis Renee says, “I'm amazed at the amount of peace and joy that I have.” This mindset and her service to others served her well through her myeloma diagnosis, stem cell transplant and maintenance therapy- all during the uncertainty and chaos of the COVID pandemic.
When she lost her hair during transplant, Renee's kids shaved their heads to show their love and support.
Renee has now decided to share her outlook and perspective with others with myeloma by volunteering as a Myeloma Coach. She wants to share what she has learned to help make it easier for others. Her gift of giving continues on.
find or become a myeloma coach
About the Author:
Renee Finch, has been married 34 years, is the mother of 5, lives in the Hudson River valley of New York. Trained as an ophthalmologist technician. Looking forward to retirement in the sunny south! North Carolina.
about the author
Rozalynn Hite is the HealthTree Coach Director and wife of myeloma patient Richard Hite. Rozalynn is an occupational therapist and mother of three beautiful children.