CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. –
Many people don't give much thought to Friday the 13th these days but for one Team Charleston family it's the day they received some terrible news.
May 13, 2005, Tech. Sgt. David Dick, 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionics lead technician, and his family learned that his youngest daughter, Krista, was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the blood.
"When we were told she had cancer it was an emotional roller coaster," said Sergeant Dick. "At first it hit me really hard but what made me realize that my daughter didn't have a death sentence but a life sentence was the support - my daughter was not fighting this alone."
The Dicks received support from Sergeant Dick's squadron and many charities and foundations that help cancer victims.
"The main thing is Air Force takes care of Air Force - my unit and my bosses were very supportive," Sergeant Dick said.
The American Red Cross, the Leukemia Foundation, the Ronald MacDonald House, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Cure Search all provided support for the Dicks.
The highlight of the support the Dicks received was a trip to Orlando, Fla.., provided by the Make-A-Wish foundation.
"For a year, I saw Krista unable to enjoy what a normal 7-year-old should enjoy," said Sergeant Dick. "In Orlando I saw my daughter smile and be happy for the first time in a year.
Now, after a year-and-a-half, Krista has been through chemotherapy and is on the road to recovery and Sergeant Dick travels throughout the Southeast giving motivational speeches to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for cancer. He's also a big advocate of giving. With the Combined Federal Campaign now in progress, Sergeant Dick has something to preach about.
"I cannot stress enough - there are so many great organizations in the CFC magazine. Just pick one," he said. "When you give to these organizations you're more than providing money - you're providing hope."
Sergeant Dick doesn't just promote charities for cancer victims.
"Everyone wants to be that difference-maker. Now is your chance to be the difference-maker. It doesn't matter what organization you give to, just give," he said.
Last year, federal employees and servicemembers donated a record-setting $268 million to the CFC. Contributions can be in cash, check or by payroll deduction.
On average, one in four federal employees or their dependents will benefit from the CFC charities this year, according to CFC officials. Donors may designate which charities receive their money by filling out a pledge card.
For more information on donating to the CFC contact your squadron representative. The CFC Web site is at www.opm.gov/cfc.