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Harrisburg churches and residents look after a few of its own

By Christie Barlow
[email protected]

Fran Wynn can still remember the day her husband, David, told her they were going to lose everything they had. It was June; David had just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Fran was battling uterine cancer.

Both Fran and David had to stop working because of their illnesses, but six months later, the Wynn family is still on its feet and has found plenty to be thankful for. Since their diagnosis, friends, family, churches even strangers have been looking out for the Wynn family.

Harrisburg United Methodist Church members spearheaded plans to help the Wynn’s. The church started supplying homemade meals twice a week. The meals are a way of lending a hand and letting the Wynn’s know people care, Diann Norwood, a member of HUMC who’s helping coordinate the meal schedule, said.

“It does two things really,” Norwood said. “It is to provide her with a need so she doesn’t have to worry about it. It also gives the community a way to show their love.”

Pat Miller, a member of Harrisburg United Methodist Church, started providing meals as soon as the idea came about.
It was something she felt she had to do, Miller said. For her, something as simple as providing meals is just being a good neighbor and a good friend.

“The thing about it is, Fran has cancer and she’s had two surgeries and David depends more and more on her to get around,” Miller said. “If we can do this to help her, it’s just no problem.”

Since the church started supplying meals, there have consistently been people signing up.

The response from the community has gone beyond what Norwood or the Wynns could have ever expected. Prayers, food and help in every way, shape and form have been pouring in from churches and individuals that the Wynns don’t know, Fran said.

“We’re just so, so blessed; even going through a really bad situation, it’s bearable” Fran said. “Things happen for a reason, but it’s strengthened our faith so, so much.”

Those who know the Wynn family describe them as incredibly positive people.

Despite the difficult situations they’ve been in, they maintain a good attitude and keep their outlook up, Miller said. Fran attributes their outlook to the family’s faith. The two diagnoses have helped to strengthen her husbands, children’s and her own relationship with God, she said.

Fran’s doctors are optimistic about her progress fighting the disease, but as of now, there is now cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

However, as Fran, David, and their six children, two biological, two adopted and two they’re in the process of adopting, prepare to celebrate the holidays, they continue to focus on all the well wishes and support they’re getting from others.

“One of the ladies at Grace Presbyterian Church said ‘we’re here for the long haul,’ ” Fran said. “It lets us know that someone’s got our back. This makes us 10 times more faithful. It makes us feel wonderful. We don’t worry about the future.”

• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.


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