People learn not only by personal experience, but also from the experiences of others. Four families who were honored recently during local National Family Week activities in Columbus provided valuable messages about facing and overcoming adversity from which others can benefit.

The McCauley, Poueriet, Lancaster and Humes families were honored Nov. 17 during a recognition reception at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

For the McCauley, Poueriet and Lancaster families, their stories involved family members fighting cancer. The Humes family shared how it dealt with loss through heroin addiction.

Cierra McCauley, 11, of Elizabethtown, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012. She beat it with chemotherapy treatments. This year, in September, she started a dance challenge, Dancer Beating Cancer, to raise money for pediatric research. So far, about $5,000 has been raised.

William Lancaster, 13, one of a set of triplets, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia nearly three years ago. The Columbus resident has overcome cancer with chemotherapy, oral medications and 63 blood transfusions.

Jennifer Pouriet, a stay-at-home mother of two young boys, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia during Memorial Day weekend. Her illness prompted support from her church, Community Church of Columbus, to create a bone marrow registry drive, which drew about 120 people. Pouriet received a bone marrow transplant from one of her sisters, and is a month into her recovery.

The Humeses lost their 23-year-old daughter, Megan Gilbert, to heroin addiction three years ago, despite three attempts by her to get clean through treatment. The mother, Molly Humes, has been able to share her story through St. Peter’s Lutheran Church’s LifeWorks Intensive Outpatient Program.

The fact that these families have been willing to share their experiences with the community shows how they wish for their stories to help others. The courage that connects them is inspiring.

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