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Family thankful for love and support of strangers during difficult time

Updated: Monday, January 6 2014, 10:34 AM CST
Written by: Sherry Christian

Just like the folks in the fictional town of "Who-ville", a very real Perry county family did not need gifts under the tree or food in the fridge to celebrate Christmas.  There's no Grinch in this story, but the hearts of many loved ones and complete strangers have grown three sizes, and they are making a difference in the lives of the Schlachter family.

"We wouldn't be able to do this without them..."Rachel Schlachter says. The "them" she is referring to are friends and complete strangers who have supported the Perry county family after Rachel's husband Vaughn was diagnosed with Leukemia in February 2012.

A week after the diagnosis, their youngest daughter Zavella was born.  "We coined her our rainbow in the storm, because that's what she was, our greatest blessing in such a hard time of struggle." Rachel says.

The Schlachter's had a week to switch their delivery location to the hospital where Vaughn was being treated,  so  he would be there for Zavella's birth.

But on the day she was born, Vaughn was fighting for his life.  "Right when I was getting ready to push, we got notification that he wasn't going to be able to come down.  So at that point it was very emotional," Rachel said.

The emotional roller coaster would continue for the Schlachter's, Vaughn went into remission, and then this past October, he learned the cancer returned.

Throughout all of this, there was no shortage of support, including a benefit later this month, which is being organized by Rachel's sister, Pam Moore.  "We pray for Vaughn to have the best outcome possible with his bone marrow transplant.  And we don't want them to worry about finances.  We want him around for many years to watch their beautiful girls grow up," Pam said.

The family is taking a financial hit, but through it all they remain upbeat and humble.

"They are what gives us strength - and God gives us strength to go through this journey and wake up and smile and go through the day," Rachel said.

Through tears, Vaughn says, "What more can I say than just thank you?  Try to go up and give them a handshake, hug and with true thankfulness in my voice and a little emotion to say thank you.  What you've done for us, it means so much to us."

Good news is both of Vaughn's sisters are a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant.

As for the Walking Warriors for Vaughn benefit, it is Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Duncannon EMS Building, 16 Shermanata Drive, Duncannon. 

The Chili Cook-off is from 2:00 – 4:00pm
Gun & Vacation Raffle
Raffles/Auctions/Money Buckets 2:00 – 10:00pm
Live Music featuring Creekside Soul, Darkside on Tap, The Timeless Trio 6:00 – 10:00pm
Admission by Donation, Doors open at 2:00pm

Go to this link for more information –
Family thankful for love and support of strangers during difficult time

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