To ignite the celebration of community surrounding FlowFest, we are offering donation based classes the entire week before FlowFest (starting 06/20). All money raised will be donated to LINC, a Richmond based non-profit dedicated to helping cancer patients, survivors, and their families with the business side of cancer. Please join us for any of the donation classes next week in support of this wonderful organization (you are welcome to donate whatever you are able, no maximum or minimum). Below is Keith's story, one example of the tremendous gift that LINC offers.
Phillip’s daughter, Areatha was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the young age of 31. Areatha was strong and brave, but she knew her life was coming to an end, and she turned to LINC to draft life-planning documents and to make arrangements for the custody of her 6-year-old daughter, Myana. Myana’s biological father was completely absent from her life, had a violent criminal history, and didn’t have a permanent address.
During Areatha’s illness, it was Phillip who took Myana to school, made sure she did her homework, and tucked her in at night. Areatha knew that he was her best option to provide Myana with a stable and loving home in her absence. Aretha’s biggest concern as she battled her cancer was Myana’s well-being, so she talked to Myana’s father, and they all agreed that after Areatha passed, Phillip would file for full custody and Myana’s father would sign a consent form. It was a tragedy that a bright and happy little girl would grow up without a mother, but the biological father’s agreement to allow Myana to remain in the care and custody of her grandfather provided peace of mind to the family prior to Areatha’s passing.
However, just days after Areatha lost her battle with cancer and Phillip and Myana were consumed with grief, Phillip was shocked to find out that Myana’s father had filed for custody. All of a sudden, they were embroiled in a difficult custody battle. With nowhere else to turn, Phillip called LINC even though we usually do not get involved in contested custody battles. Because we knew this family, we felt strongly that we had to get involved to make sure that Phillip’s relationship with and ability to care for Myana were accurately portrayed to the court. LINC knew that Myana’s best interests would be served if Phillip had an advocate to help him through the custody process.
Because Phillip couldn’t afford a lawyer and didn’t know the first thing about fighting for custody as a third party, LINC put a call out to our network of talented attorneys to find someone to take on the case. Within a few hours of sending out the request, we found an attorney who was willing to take the case. That attorney put in the many long hours of work it took to prove Myana’s father an unfit guardian, all pro bono.
We are proud to say that Phillip won the custody battle, and Myana is safely and happily in the care of her loving grandfather. Areatha, Phillip, and Myana didn’t have to fight this battle alone thanks to LINC and our network of attorneys, and we will be here to make sure that the next family doesn’t have to either.