When Joanna Dennstaedt was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic melanoma in 2014, the young York County mother turned her mess into her message.
After her long health battle, she founded Radiant Hope, a non-profit to support people during their own cancer journies. For that effort, she became one of abc27’s most Remarkable Women of 2020.
“I know that the calling that I’ve been asked to do is what I’m meant to do and I know it’s impacting people by my saying yes to do that,” Dennstaedt said. “So I don’t feel remarkable for that, but it helped me see there is a difference you can make in other people’s lives, whether you get an award for that or not.”
This past fall, Dennstaedt received another challenging diagnosis.
“I am one of the lots of people that did get COVID this past year,” she said.
Unfortunately, this health battle is one she is still fighting.
“I have been very sick and I am still sick and dealing with a lot of effects of that and what it did to my body,” she said. “I’ve spent many days frustrated with my health and it’s just a reminder to me again that we are weak and not everlasting human beings, but we are here with the breath in our lungs for a purpose.”
Her family and Radiant Hope remain that purpose.
“People are still getting cancer,” Dennstaedt said. “That is still definitely happening. People are still very deeply struggling with their cancer journeys and loss of people they love and new diagnosis in really lonely and crazy times. So we know that place we’ve been called to has not slowed down at all.”
Dennstaedt continues to be amazed by the generous spirit of others.
“People are so good,” she said. “That’s what I have seen over the past year. People are so generous.”
And now, more than ever, she chooses to focus on the future; never giving up her own radiant hope.
“This too shall pass in a good way and to look forward with hope for the exciting things that are gonna come,” she said.
For more information about Radiant Hope, click here.