Our 2023 Wings of Hope Tributes
The Wings of Hope (WOH) concert committee chooses two to three inspiring tributes each year to raise funds for. WOH strives to show these families that, as a community, we care. We will be here when they need us. We appreciate them and their inspiring lives. It is our honor and privilege to introduce you to Chris and Heidi. Join us. Donate or purchase your ticket today.
A Life of Service
Chris Stein has spent his professional career as a pastor, clinical healthcare chaplain/counselor, and a local and national event worship leader. A pastoral transfer brought Chris to the Pottstown area 22 years ago where he found a great place to raise a family and call home.
Chris was first diagnosed with a brain tumor at 27 years old in 2001. It was resected but a stroke during the surgery complicated his recovery and the location of the tumor necessitated the removal of areas of the brain that control and retain music memory and recall. After waking up Chris found out that he had no memory of any music, including the CDs he had recorded. He also had limited fine motor control so his ability to play guitar was greatly impacted and he had to spend some time at an in-patient physical rehab center. An oncology treatment resulted in a bone disease which necessitated the removal of necrotic bone and the replacement of a hip and femur. This all ultimately resulted in his no longer being able to continue to travel for music. But God is good and Chris was able to recover enough ability to serve as a spokesman/event host/performer for the National Brain Tumor Society and played and spoke at events in the Northeast. It was at this time that he met his wife, also a brain tumor survivor.
Fast forward to 2006 the original grade 2 diffuse astrocytoma was back with a new grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. Treatment for this went much better and he continued in his clinical residency while having surgery and receiving treatments on his residency lunch hour in the hospital.
In the Fall of 2021 Chris was diagnosed with his 4th brain tumor but it did not encapsulate as a normal tumor would. It spread through the right side in the remaining brain tissue then crossed into the brain stem and into the left hemisphere. The cancer was considered inoperable and treatment options were limited. A second round of full brain radiation, though risky, was felt as the best option in addition to chemotherapy and immunotherapies. This did result in radiation damage and radiation induced Parkinsonism. This is an umbrella term for several disease processes and symptoms can be drawn from any of them.
Chemo and immunotherapy infusions continue to this day in the goal of extending life for him to spend with his amazing wife and incredible 10 year old son. Chris has returned to healthcare and hospice work, his first position after graduating his residency. He serves currently as a hospice educator for a national senior living company with the goal of getting hospice services in place for anyone who might benefit from them. He would love to talk to anyone about how a loved one may be helped by these services so come find him!
Reigniting the Inner Spark
Heidi is an independent, strong-willed single mom (6 children), friend, sister and Entrepreneur! She left a dysfunctional, difficult married life to give herself and kids a better life. Her biggest accomplishment (other than having her 6 children), was starting her own business that grew into a health/wellness Empowerment service for women. Heidi's future goal is to turn the house she’s currently living in into a BB/Wellness Services for Women going through traumatic events.
Heidi has had more than her share of struggles over the years. After leaving a highly dysfunctional married life in 2015, Heidi was in a serious car accident that left her with major head trauma. Then in 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy and tram flap surgery to her stomach she was informed she would need further medical attention. Heidi used holistic methods to care for her body and mind and had several years of remission. Unfortunately, in June of this year, after having a bout with severe back pain, she cracked a vertebrae while reaching to place a glass in her kitchen cabinet. This led to back surgery and the discovery that the cancer had spread to her bones. She is undergoing radiation therapy to reduce the spread. She currently lives with her 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter in Harleysville, PA.
Heidi loves chocolate, traveling, is filled with “nerdy curiosity,” loves gardening, meeting new people and spending time with her children and pets.