Lakewood resident Steve Garvin reached out to his ill friend, Erin Kramp, in the best way he knew how: a song.
Kramp, a former Lake Highlands resident, was 31 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994, a cancer now also present in her spine, lungs and lymph nodes.
The resilience and strong faith Erin and Doug, her husband, and Peyton, their 6-year-old daughter, demonstrated during Erin’s protracted illness has inspired those around them who have seen the family’s story told through “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “20/20” and other media accounts.
Garvin hoped the Kramps would find similar inspiration through “Tender Mercy.”
“I wanted to let her know she’s in our prayers,” Garvins says. “I wanted to inspire her, to uplift her.”
“I think we did that,” he says.
The Kramps have co-authored a book titled “Living with the End in Mind: A Practical Checklist for Living Life to the Fullest by Embracing Your Mortality.”
Erin, though frail, managed to attend a book-signing party in her honor. On Steve’s copy of the book she wrote: “You’ll never know how much this song means to me.”
Garvin, a vice president with Southwest Securities, has been writing songs since he was 12. But he decided that this time, his work wouldn’t just sit in a drawer. Erin’s song was the beginning of a CD featuring songs written by Garvin and produced by Singleton Productions in Sunnyvale.
Titled “Build This House,” Garvin plans to donate the CDs to his church, Reinhardt Bible Church, for use in a fund-raising campaign. Copies also will be distributed to Buckner Children’s Home for use in fund-raising.
“Years ago, I promised that when I did something with my music, I would first do something for God,” Garvin says.
“Build This House” also features a song written by Erin for Doug, titled “My Hero.” Garvin worked with Erin to prepare the song for the CD.
Such actions are invaluable in providing support, says Doug Kramp.
“We had no idea he was doing this,” Kramp says. “It was overwhelming, all the thought and care that went into it.”
“We have been so incredibly blessed by how our friends and family continue to support us and give to us,” Kramp says. “Their prayers and the grace of God will get us through this.”
Kramp remembers first hearing “My Hero” at a party for their 10th wedding anniversary.
“To think of the time it took her…Memories of those kind of things are what life’s all about,” he says.
Kramp suggests those wanting to help someone struggling with cancer do so by offering specific help.