By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
The Hunter Family

Cheryl's Adventure - Everyone has a story 
By Cheryl Copeland

Upon the walls of the Art Garden Studio happily hangs the perfect painting.  The owner, Joanne Hunter, chose to paint and display the phrase Everybody Has A Story to personally remind herself that each of her customers come to her with their own unique personalized story.  Her energy has always been focused on getting to know her customers and reading their stories.  Never did she put much thought into her very own story – that is until now.

cheryl copelandMy daughters convinced me that we needed to spend an afternoon with Joanne and her daughter at the After School Art Program at the Art Garden studio.  While the kids were having a blast with their various art projects I had a chance to talk to Joanne’s husband, Tim Hunter, who had momentarily stopped by the studio. 

Together we conversed about my latest Adventure articles.  Tim quickly opened up and shared with me his current situation.  He had recently dropped 30 pounds and was seeking medical attention to determine the cause of his lack of appetite and weight loss.  He was having a biopsy that week on the mass that was in his esophagus.  He had an awesomely positive attitude and determination to take on whatever the doctors diagnosed.  “There is no option but to fight – I have four teenagers – I want and need to be there for them.”  

On November 16, 2012 the Hunter’s family was given the news that Tim had esophageal and liver cancer.  Tim faced the cancer head on and began to do everything he could to fight the cancer cells.  With the love, support, and prayers from his family and friends, he continued his fight through the holiday season.  Sadly, however, Tim lost his battle with cancer just four days after spending Christmas with his family at the hospital.  Another devastating blow came shortly after when Joanne’s mother passed away from natural causes.

Hearing this news, I must admit, I simply cried.  I cried for Tim.  I cried for his beautiful wife.  And I REALLY cried for his four precious teenage children.  I thought of my own battle and cried even harder.  The reality hit home hard - that could’ve been me!  Why did God call him home so soon?  Why was I still here on earth?  

I knew Tim; his love and desire to be there for his family was no different than my very own.  As a believer in God I had to rely on my faith that God understood the ‘whys’.  At the same time, I was reminded that we’re here on earth for His purpose, not our own.  After all, this is our temporary home!  

When Tim understood the implications of his prognosis, he began preparations to meet his Maker.  Tim expressed his concern for the children – how would they be taken care of now and in the future?  Some of Tim’s closest friends, Craig Shapiro and Tracy Glover, had an idea to hold the 1st Annual Tim Hunter Family Benefit for his children.  They quickly partnered with the owner of Hail Mary’s pub in Grayson, Blake Hawkins.  

Craig kindly shares, “Tim was excited about my plan to organize a fundraiser.  With Tim's boundless enthusiasm, his encouragement and his larger than life personality he would want this event to be triumphant!  Let’s make him proud by making this event a success!” 

This event will be held at Hail Mary’s pub on Saturday, February 23, 2013.  The event will last from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and include a Corn Hole Tournament, Silent Auction, and Raffle.  Please visit the website to make donations of any size, sign up for the tournament, donate items, or volunteer for the event!  

Come join in the fun and become a part of the Hunter family story!  Please join us in honoring and remembering Tim Hunter as we live through Tim’s famous phrase, “We’re gonna have a good time!”   

The Hunter Family Fund Raiser – website:  http://creativetg.wix.com/hunterfamilybenefit

Hail Mary’s - Blake Hawkins: hail_mary@att.net

The Art Garden: http://www.joannesartgarden.com 


Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.