Two moms — one fighting cancer, and the other with a son who struggled with medical problems — are teaming up to help others.
They’re both moms of young children with a passion for helping people. Dana Yobst and Ashley Hart built a friendship and a business on something more: a shared understanding of life’s twists and turns.
In 2016, Yobst and her family donated their belongings and moved to Colombia, but it wasn’t long before doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. Her family moved again so she could begin treatment at Duke.
In the past two years, Yobst has had nine cancer-related surgeries, procedures and chemotherapy, which made her extremely sick.
“There was one week every three weeks when I couldn’t even lift my head,” she explained. “When I was sick, I had to be strong. I still had to be a mom to two kids and a wife.”
Yobst relied on family and friends to cook, clean, and run errands.
“We could hire housekeepers and we could hire babysitters, but we couldn’t hire people to do these little things,” she said.
Hart also had to depend on others. After a difficult pregnancy, during which she ended up hospitalized, her oldest son was born two months early and suffered medical problems as he grew.
“He would vomit 10 times a day and we couldn’t get any food to stay down,” Hart said. She learned her son had a condition called gastroparesis.
“The doctors give us two choices. We could put a feeding tube into his stomach and feed him that way, or we could go to one of two feeding clinics in the country,” she said.
Then pregnant with her second child, she took her son to a clinic in New Jersey, but she fell and broke both ankles ending up in a wheelchair for weeks.
“I needed help with dishes. I needed help cleaning the house,” she recalled.
When Hart and Yobst met, they discussed their own needs for help with everything from dishes, to driving, and together created a business called Fayvor. It pairs primarily retirees and stay-at-home parents with cancer patients, stroke victims, or anyone who needs help with day-to-day tasks.
“We had someone this weekend. His wife was able to leave the area for four days for the first time since her partner had a stroke. That was amazing. You can’t pay for those feelings,” Yobst said. “It’s hard enough to be sick and have challenges. If we can provide a little help and make a little difference, then it’s worthwhile.”
Hart added: “I looked back at the experience. A lot of the people who made the biggest contribution were the people who were kindest to me.”
While neither expected her own struggles to lead here, the two women hope their business helps others feel less alone.
Click here to learn more about Fayvor.