Listen: Darlene Zschech chats to Katrina Roe on Hope Mornings
Darlene Zschech, the globally-loved worship powerhouse and Central Coast pastor, had her faith tested for all it was worth in 2013 and 2014 when she went through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
While she’s now a picture of health, her cancer journey continues to shape her life, as she dedicates time to helping others who face cancer.
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She’ll see people on the street who have that “going-through-chemo” look about them, and approach them to chat and offer her encouragement. She lives more intentionally, caring better for her health and wellbeing, and making more time for friends. And she’s also founded a charity called the “1000 Meals Project”.
The initiative, powered by many helping hands from her church, Hope UC, and the local community, offers hampers of home-cooked meals and household basics to families and individuals who are going through cancer treatment.
Paying it Forward for Others With Cancer
Chatting to Hope 103.2’s Katrina Roe, Darlene explained that she was shown a lot of kindness in her own ordeal with cancer, and now wants to pay-it-forward and return the blessing to others.
“All of the months I was in treatment there wasn’t a day that went by that [there wasn’t] someone cooking, someone making lunches for my kids, sending meals, doing the ironing,” she said.
“Through treatment you are welcomed into this world you never wanted to be welcomed into.
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“But I found hundreds of amazing people, a lot of them going through treatment with hardly any support. Single mums, removing both breasts, having to do treatment, still having to get up and get their kids to school.
“Maybe they’ve got help for two weeks, but this is a year’s process. After a while I was like, ‘this is not fair and we can do something about this’.”
“Single mums, having both breasts removed, having to do treatment, still having to get up and get their kids to school. I was like, ‘this is not fair and we can do something about this’.”
Joking that nobody stays thin in her church because everyone loves to cook and eat together, Darlene said they decided to focus on food, as it’s what they do best.
Through 1000 Meals, people in the Central Coast, Newcastle and Maitland regions with a cancer diagnosis, register their interest in receiving support through the charity’s website. And in the week that they are undergoing treatment, 1000 Meals brings them home-cooked meals free of charge – along with basics like milk, bread, eggs, and fruit – “Just to take that pressure off”, says Darlene.
On Wednesday, October 23, the 1000 Meals Project is hosting a fundraising dinner called “Night of Hope” in Gosford, to raise funds both for 1000 Meals and the CoastCanCare Wellness Program. Marina Prior will be the feature guest artist.
Tickets are $50; register or find more info at https://hopeuc.com/au/events/nightofhope/.