By Kathy Walsh
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– A beloved Highlands Ranch family doctor, battling pancreatic cancer, was once told she had less than six months to live. Three years later, Dr. Jill Pechacek and her children are celebrating life by issuing a challenge.
They are coming Together for Colorado, calling for acts of kindness and hoping their challenge goes viral.
Hope and Brooks Pechacek Peterson are raising the bar on being kind.
“We have Kind bars for everyone,” Brooks announced while handing out the snacks in a classroom at Cherry Hills Christian Middle School.
Brooks and his sister, Hope, were offering a nut and spice bar to all 300 students, but it came with a challenge of biblical proportions… Jeremiah 29:11.
“Twenty-nine random acts of kindness in 11 days,” Brooks explained.
This family believes kindness brings hope. It has certainly worked for them.
“Our motto is ‘God’s got this’,” Dr. Jill Pechacek told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh back in the fall of 2014.
“Dr. Jill” had stage four pancreatic cancer. She was given less than six months to live. Jill and her three kids took a family photo back then.
They were able to take another in the same pose three years later.
“I wake up and I consider each day the miracle,” said Jill.
She has had most of her pancreas and liver removed. She has spent 1,149 days in treatment. Her high school freshman, Hawk, will tell you it has not been easy.
“It’s big hills and then it’s really deep valleys,” Hawk said.
Jill has had to stop practicing family medicine in Highlands Ranch. She says she hides treatments from her kids when she can. She copes with side effects by considering them a nuisance.
“You can be, you know, grumpy about things or you can make a decision to be grateful,” Jill said.
Her strength comes from God and good friends. She has walked to raise money for research. She has given countless inspirational speeches. She has made kindness contagious.
“This is not about beating cancer. This is about using every day to make a difference in someone’s life,” Jill explained.
She knows time is precious. Her faith prevails.
“I intend to be here,” she said, “But if God needs me there, I will serve Him wherever He needs me the most.