In 1991, Suzanne Harwood was pursuing a career in hair-styling. She had no plans to become a Church hostess.
Then in one moment her life - and her future - changed. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was malignant, she was told, and inoperable.Not willing to give up, she found a surgeon in San Francisco, Calif., who performed surgery in 1993. He removed 90 percent of the tumor. Soon after, she again was given no hope. Again, she refused to give up. She began chemotherapy treatments at the University of Utah. All together, she had four chemotherapy treatments.
Today, Sister Harwood is doing well. Her hair has grown back and her eyes sparkle with cheerfulness. But there have been consequences to her illness. "I'm partially paralyzed on the right side. I couldn't work."
Her love for people led her to become a Church hostess in 1995, which she does with the use of a cane. "This is the place for me to serve. I just love it," explained Sister Harwood of the Murray 15th Ward, Murray Utah Parkway Stake.
Another reward, in addition to meeting people from throughout the world, is the voice therapy that being a hostess has provided. "I was going through a little verbal memory loss. I could think of what I wanted to say but couldn't find the words. Learning the script has helped me start talking a little faster. It's done a lot for me.
"I never felt like I was giving up so much," she said, referring to the effects of the illness on her life, "because I got so much back. It's blessed my life instead of being a trial."