Project becomes crusade as local family battles cancer with hope and a nice bowl of soup
While the year 2020 has been a difficult one for many families, it revealed a particularly cruel surprise to the unsuspecting Peay family. Wendy and Wesley Peay never imagined when they tied the knot 20 years ago that they would one day be faced with a challenge no family should have to endure.
Wendy and Wesley have known each other since high school but didn’t begin dating until Wesley returned from his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They married in 2000 and added four children to their family over the years: Hailey (17), Riley (14), Blake (9), and Violet (6).
This year, they began a family project to deliver soup and bread to families who were stuck in quarantine due to COVID-19.
They didn’t know it at the time, but the soup-making project would soon turn into a fundraising project to cover mounting medical expenses.
Wendy began experiencing some troubling symptoms at the beginning of the year, such as vertigo, facial numbness, and drastic weight loss. After several failed attempts from doctors to diagnose the underlying cause of her symptoms, one doctor finally delivered the news that turned the Peay family’s world upside-down. It was cancer. Wendy was diagnosed with Stage One Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, or DCIS. This type of cancer is normally aggressive and usually spreads to the lymph system before found. Fortunately, Wendy’s case is out of the ordinary. Wendy’s primary surgeon said that Wendy’s case “perplexed her and many others.”
Wendy said she and her family feel blessed to be in the position they are in because they know it could be much worse. It is this spirit of positivity that has inspired the family to write a blog.
“This fight is not just mine, but our entire family’s as well,” Wendy said. “We felt as though we have a story to tell, in hope to inspire others in their difficulties.”
The family’s first blog post is titled “Embracing the Storms.” It provides more information about how the Peay family dealt with the diagnosis, and what they are doing now to fight off an enemy they can’t see.
They encourage everyone to read and share the post, which can be found at: (https://pinkshoesgivemesuperpowers.blogspot.com/2020/11/embracing-storms.html).
Wesley has always enjoyed cooking and eating great food. But this year, he’s cooking for a much more personal reason.
After Wendy’s diagnosis, Wesley decided to start making soup and fresh homemade bread to help pay for his wife’s cancer treatments. That’s how the Soup from the Soul fundraiser was born.
The Peay family aims to serve up dinner “to a serious amount of people” through the end of the year. Wesley uses his culinary skills to create soul-warming soup, fresh-baked bread, and cookies for local families. His chicken noodle soup is a favorite menu item and is full of familiar flavors. He also throws in some carefully selected exotic spaces that make his soup far from ordinary.
Dinner pick-up and delivery is available from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for the areas of Payson, Santaquin, Spanish Fork, and Provo. Residents of Salt Lake Valley are also welcomed to come down to Utah County and pick up a hot meal if they choose. Wesley can even bring frozen soup up to the Salt Lake Valley area on the weekends or as demand indicates.
Though the challenges won’t just go away, Wendy believes they can be overcome.
“They will be a lot easier to handle. You can do hard things! Yes, I have cancer, but I know there isn’t really anything I can do but go through it. So, I’m going to put on my pink galoshes and dance in the rain. There is always joy in the journey!”
To learn more about the Soup From the Soul fundraiser and available menu items, visit (https://pinkshoesgivemesuperpowers.blogspot.com/). Then, email your order selections to PinkShoesGiveMeSuperPowers@outlook.com. Please include your name, phone number, address, and pick-up or delivery preferences.
The Peay family is also accepting donations through GoFundMe and Venmo. The GoFundMe link can be found on their website, and Venmo donations can be made to @Wendy-Peay. If prompted to enter the last four digits of Wendy’s phone number, enter 2368. (Peterson is a Serve Daily contributor).