Life Lessons: The Dinnars’ Story

Life Lessons:  The Dinnar Family

by Julia Dinnar

We’re from Lakewood, NY. Our son Rowan is 2 1/3 and will be 3 in September.  Josh and I both went to school in Alfred for ceramics and have been working to buy a house for the past few years to start a studio/ business. Then last year in February of 2017 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

We started coming to Roswell for his treatment in March 2017. He had to switch to a stronger treatment in May 2017 so Rowan and I stayed at Kevin Guest House.  My father & stepmom told us about it because they had just stayed the year before.  Rowan and I stayed a few days a couple of times last year and again in September for Josh to get a chest biopsy which turned out negative. We came back again in March for him to get another biopsy in his neck, which turned out positive for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now he’s on a stronger treatment which requires us to be in Buffalo several times a week so it just makes sense to stay close. The stem cell transplant that he’ll need at the end of his treatment also requires him to be here for at least a few weeks straight. Luckily for us, even though Rowan is high energy, he is flexible and resilient, so he is handling everything amazingly.

This whole situation has changed our lives in many positive ways already, and we have very high hopes that there will be a happy ending to our story. We have realized how precious life and health is and what is really important.  Josh worked 56 hours a week 6 days a week before all of this, and while I know many people do that, we have realized how having money for “stuff” isn’t worth not spending as much time together. We aren’t living large by any means, but we could do with much less if it means we can spend more time together and live; passing memories down to Rowan. Not things. We’ve met so many wonderful people at Kevin Guest House already. The employees and volunteers have been so kind, helpful, understanding and generous. Other guests have helped solidify the lesson of how precious life is and in some cases, how truly lucky we are to have been dealt the cards we have. There’s always someone who has it worse than you.  Just when you feel like being bitter, you’re reminded of that and humbled. This whole experience has been humbling, but there is learning in everything. 

So, from this, we can grow.

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