Jody Farley-Berens and Michelle Singleton were childhood friends. They grew up together and had children. But tragedy struck when Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. A single mom, she struggled to make ends meet while battling for her life.
“With two children, it was scary,” recalls Farely-Berens. “The everyday tasks we often take for granted became a struggle for her. Cleaning her home, preparing dinner and paying her bills was difficult for her. I wanted to do my best to make things a little less stressful for her.”
Farely-Berens did what she could to help Michelle. She would buy extra household supplies when she made her own run to the store. She would make extra dinner and take some over to Michelle’s house. She even chipped in to pay an electricity bill when help was needed.
Hope Born from Tragedy
Michelle passed on after six months. “I kept thinking about all the other people who were going through what my friend had gone through,” recalls Farely-Berens. “I thought about those who had to battle cancer and care for their children and didn’t have anyone to help them.” This was the inspiration that led to the birth of Singleton Moms.
The non-profit provides support to single parents battling with cancer. The organization focuses on day-to-day support including housecleaning, grocery shopping, preparing meals, fun events for kids as well as financial assistance when the need arises.
Many of the parents that the organization supports are stage 4 cancer patients. These parents are not able to return to work and are expected to be on treatment for the rest of their lives.
“When you get to the point that you’re not able to do much, even dirt on the floor can add one more level to the stress you currently feel,” says Tiffany Montgomery. The 48 year old is a single mom who has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Singleton Moms pitched in to help so that she could have more time to spend with her 10-year old daughter Ezri. “These people have changed my outlook. They really care about us and they demonstrate that through their actions.”
Despite the name, the organization isn’t about single mothers only. There are several single fathers being supported by the program too.
Putting a Smile on Faces
Although the organization deals with a serious subject, the group gives the onlooker a fun vibe. The organization holds monthly fun events where families come to pick up supplies and socialize. There are crafts for the kids and snacks for everyone. “Cancer is so ugly and there is nothing fun about it,” Farely-Berens says. “We hope to bring some joy where there is none.”