What's her secret?: 'Reach out and ask for help'

abredeson@islandpacket.comNovember 11, 2013 

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Bluffton mother Linda Frantz, center, with her children Brandon, 10, Heather, 28, and Andrew, 22, while trying out the driver's seat of Andrew's four-wheeler Oct. 25 in front of their home.

SARAH WELLIVER — Sarah Welliver Buy Photo

Name: Linda Frantz

Husband: Mark

Town: Bluffton

Children: Heather, 28; Andrew, 22; Brandon, 10

Occupation: Stay-at-home, home schooling mom

Biggest pet peeve: Drunk driving

Hobbies: Quilting and reading

Volunteer work: Frantz used to volunteer at LowCountry Community Church a lot but hasn't been able to do much lately because of medical problems in the family.

Favorite mommy moment: "When my kids were little, I loved it when they would come downstairs and get into bed with us," Frantz said. "And we would talk about silly things or what's going on for that day. Just love on them. Lots of hugs and kisses. ... They grow up so fast, and then you don't get that time anymore."

Most challenging moment: Frantz's daughter, Heather, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March 2012. Frantz's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer the following month, and her husband found out he had diabetes around the same time. "Going through that time, dealing with everybody and then trying to figure out, 'OK, who is going to home-school Brandon? Who's going to take care of Brandon? How am I going to do all this?'

"The Lord just worked everything out. I'm just amazed, and I'm still amazed even to this day, how he provided people from our church, people at my mom's church, people that we didn't know even. ...(Between) taking (Mom) to radiation and Heather to chemo, dealing with Mark's new illness ... I was just in wonder how he worked it all out."

Stress reliever: Playing games and laughing with family and friends, going out on the boat

Advice for other moms: Frantz once spent five weeks trying to find a rheumatologist for Heather. She finally took her to the emergency room at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Heather saw a rheumatologist right away. That is her advice to mothers of sick children -- take them to the emergency room because a doctor will see them right away.

She also encourages mothers to reach out and ask for help if they need it. A friend set up a Facebook page called "Heather's Hope," and that allowed Frantz to post their needs. "People were always right there, posting, 'I can help this day' or 'I can help that day.' ... I think that was very helpful to me in that time because when you are taking care of two at the same time, you can't be in two places at the same time."

Frantz said it's also important to trust God. "My favorite verse was Proverbs 3:5-6 during that whole time," she said. " 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to him, and he shall make your paths straight.' I just had to keep relying on that -- trusting in him, and he was going to work it all out. I don't know how, but he was going to work it all out. And he did. He was always there for me. I would never have made it without the Lord and our church family and friends. That's what kept me going."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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