This crazy community has done something amazing, unprecedented even. It’s almost impossible to describe. YOU have been a part of it whether you know it or not. You’ve helped theCHIVE community change the lives of hundreds of individuals with rare medical conditions, veterans on the verge of suicide, and first responders who need a helping hand.
With over 350 individuals helped to date, many of them with the rarest of medical conditions, it’s inevitable that we’ll lose a recipient we’ve all fallen in love with every once in a while. But that doesn’t make days like today any easier to face.
The following is a letter from a husband of a Chive Charities grant recipient, Bobbi Reeping. It’s the rawest emotion I’ve ever seen put into words and one of the most beautiful things I’ve read. Rather than try to describe it, I’ll let Mark take it away.
“Dear Chivers, I just wanted to let you know that Bobbi passed on September 15 due to complications of lung cancer. Her right lung was completely full of cancer, and her left lung only had a few pockets of air left.
Two days before she passed, Bobbi was sent to the hospital at 2am for a diabetic seizure. I thought she was going to die in my arms that night. But when she got to the hospital, the Doctor put a breathing mask on her.
For a day and a half, she was awake and was always trying to take off her mask and pull out her IVs. I kept holding her hands down. The doctor told me at that time she only had a few days to live. He said her lungs are starving for air and it feels like a drowning sensation.
She was in a lot of pain. All the doctors could do was give her morphine to keep her under. I stayed at the hospital for two days by her bedside. I think I told her 1,000 times that I loved her and that I will miss her hugs.
Throughout the next two days, Bobbi would wake up and tell me and the kids she loved us.
Her doctors told me whenever I am ready to let Bobbi go, to let her staff know so they can start the morphine drip. The morphine drip will basically put her to sleep and when she’s asleep they will pull off her breathing mask and she will take her final breath within 1 to 2 minutes. So she can pass quickly and quietly.
It was very hard to see her in pain and in suffering so on Sunday September 15, at 12:20am in the morning, I told the nurse that Bobbi is ready to go to Heaven.
The two nurses started the morphine drip at 12:44AM and they took off her breathing mask. In her room was my mom, my two kids, Maddi and Cody, Bobbi‘s father and sister. We all said our goodbyes and we told her we love her and will miss her.
During the time Bobbi’s mask was off. I played “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. it was the song she wanted to be played during her last breaths.
Even during her last breaths, she fought for 27 minutes to stay alive. I kept playing her favorite songs and told her I love her.
The last song I played was me and Bobbi’s song. Elvis Presley‘s “Love me Tender”. I kept looking in her eyes telling her “I love you”. At the end of the song she took her last breath. 2 or 3 seconds later the alarm on her monitoring machine went off. The nurse said she had passed.
Her eyes were still open looking into mine. I told her we will meet in heaven when I pass and we will be together for eternity.
Bobbi is going to be cremated next Tuesday and half of her ashes will be sent to the National Cemetery in Hawaii. The other half I will hold. When I pass my kids will combine me and Bobbi’s ashes into one urn and we will be together in Hawaii for eternity.
Thanks to all the Chive Charities donors for their help with the shower they built us. She was on hospice for 5 weeks before her passing. I would literally give her a shower every two days.
I was in the shower washing her. It would take me 40 minutes to give her a shower. Her last three weeks she could hardly move or walk so I had to help her with everything. If you did not give us that shower it would have made the last few months with her so much more difficult.
May God bless you, theCHIVE, and Chive Charities. Thank you!!”
-Mark Reeping, loving husband of Bobbi Reeping
If you’re anything like me, your eyes are red by now. Mark’s powerful words still ring in my ears as I try to type this through misty eyes. His letter is a reminder that even though we may lose the ones we love, fighting for them while they are here is more than worth it.
We’ve now lost 15 Chive Charities recipients over the years and it’s a hard pill to swallow every single time. But we are forever grateful for the readers of our Chive Charites stories, the donors that make it all happen, and theCHIVE community that supports the underdogs like Bobbi. Most importantly, our recipients and their families thank you for helping them make each and every day count and making their lives at least 10 percent happier.
Rest in peace, Bobbi. You’ll be missed and know that your fight will inspire thousands for years to come.
-theCHIVE and Chive Charities staff
P.S. If you’d like to join the fight for the underdogs, like Bobbi, you can become a monthly donor to Chive Charities HERE