After losing wife to cancer, man gives free breakfast to survivors and families

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 7:05 PM EDT
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - A family in Bedford County who lost one of their own to cancer is trying to help others in the process of healing. They are creating a support system after suffering a loss.

Words can’t express the loss that Robert Tausendfreundt and his family are going through.

“Just, I wish she was here,” said Tausendfreundt.

His wife Katie Rawley died in January, 5 months after she was diagnosed with cancer.

“She was kind, caring, very loving, great mother,” added Tausendfreundt.

Tausendfreundt is using his grief to help others get through theirs.

“Even if I could put a smile on somebody’s face for a moment, maybe talk to them and get them to believe there is hope,” explained Tausendfreundt.

Originally the family was going to host a fundraising event at Lago Pizza in Moneta. But after losing Katie, they are offering free breakfast Saturday and Sunday to survivors, as well as those who have lost someone to cancer.

“But this was something that even though she passed, I was able to still do it for her,” said Tausendfreundt. “So, I know she’s smiling.”

Families hung up pictures to honor those who have passed. Amber Carmichael said she had survivor’s guilt as she looked at the wall.

“Having to look at those pictures and to see that someone fought the same fight as you but they didn’t make it it’s hard,” said Carmichael.

Carmichael said she found healing by sharing stories with people who understand her experience.

“It’s hard but it lets you know that either way you’re going to be okay,” added Carmichael.

She thanks the Tausendfreundt family for giving her hope.

“That no matter what someone or their family is going through, that they can still find the bright spot,” explained Carmichael. “And to serve others and to serve their community.”

In trying to help others, Tausenfreundt also found support for his family.

“Just listening to people talk about their wives and their family members, it’s just great. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one and they’re not the only ones. We’re together,” said Tausenfreundt.

Without the Lago Pizza owner and staff support, Tausenfreundt says the memorial wouldn’t be possible.

The family will be giving out free breakfast again Sunday to survivors and those who have lost someone from cancer. It’s limited to one per table. You can visit Lago Pizza in Moneta from 7 a.m. to 11 and show your support.