Submitted by Donna Lind
It’s 9:30 on Saturday morning and my house is filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The dining room table is set for six and covered with fresh muffins, fruit, organic creamers and half and half. Soon friends and family begin arriving for a morning of coffee tasting, good conversation around the table and awareness.
Beth Serafin, founder of The H Life, has been busy in my kitchen for the past hour, brewing the six coffee flavors I chose in preparation of the Coffee Flight that I am hosting for her organization. As Beth brews and I set the table, we chat about everything from having the same living room couch to the impact The H Life is making toward the support and awareness of families living with pediatric brain cancer.
My guests gather around the table and Beth begins The H Life story as she serves the first coffee tasting of the morning.
In October of 2013, Beth’s 15-year old daughter, Heather, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma(DIPG), a rare form of cancer that attaches to the most ancient part of the brain. About 250 children are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. There is no known cure and has a 0% survival rate.
During that journey, Beth and her family learned about the small amount of funding put towards research for DIPG, the outdated treatments, and the struggle of families on the same journey. Heather, with the help of her family, decided to begin a movement towards change in all those areas. Heather passed away in October of 2015, but by then she had inspired everyone she met and caused significant impact.
Fast forward to May of 2019 and Beth is in my home, as she has in several other homes for the past six months, hosting a Coffee Flight, making personal connections, bringing awareness to DIPG and raising funds for both family support and research. With the help of Maple City Roasters of Michigan City, who provide and roast the coffee, and the Health Hut in Chesterton, where coffee is served and sold, Beth is able to raise funds that provide financial help to families and financial resources for research through groups like The Swifty Foundation. The sale of each bag of coffee, coffee mug and t-shirt contributes to these funds.
After all six flavors have been tasted, we’ve decided our favorites, learned a little bit about coffee, gained awareness of DIPG and a heartfelt need and Beth has made six new friends. Beth has never left a coffee flight without booking another one – and so the awareness grows.
The H Life will be celebrating its one-year anniversary at a celebration on May 10 at Hawthorne Park in Porter, Indiana. There will be an Open House from 1-5pm with coffee tasting available. At 7pm there will be a group celebration of past accomplishments and future plans. To contact Beth and find out more about The H Life, DIPG and other pediatric brain cancer, email her at Beth@TheH.Life or visit the website https://TheH.Life.
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