Kathie Lee & Hoda: Everyone Has A Story Contest Winner
Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb announced the winner of this month’s Everyone Has A Story contest on The Today Show on September 4 2012 and today she joined them in the studio. This month’s winner is Jo Draper Grante from Fredericksburg, VA.
Jullian Grante: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis
Jo Draper Granate is the wife of Jullian Grante, an Air Force veteran with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma who believes that Jo is his greatest source of strength.
He served two tours in Vietnam and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s in January of 2001 and has had three reoccurrences since that time. Cancer is the result of his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam. Because it is in his lymph nodes, it moves to his body and can reappear at any time.
Jo is his primary caregiver and has sacrificed so much to take care of him. He said he doesn’t have the adequate words to explain her wavering love to devotion, which has kept him strong. Over the years while he has been in the hospital for critical care and his many surgeries, his wife has always been by his side. When he goes to bed at night, she is right there beside him sleeping in a recliner and when he wakes in the morning she is holding his hand.
Last year when he was in the hospital after being diagnosed with colon cancer, he was unable to take care of his personal needs and without hesitation, his wife would bathe him. He said it was a very humbling experience to have his wife, or anyone for that matter, take care of him like she was taking care of one of their six grandchildren. He said he is so blessed to have a wife, friend and partner like Jo, who is honest, compassionate, faithful and caring.
Jo Draper Grante: They Took Vows
Kathie Lee said they saw their wedding picture and we don’t live happily ever after and we go through a lot of stuff. Hoda said it is sometimes not easy to take help and Jullian is a strong man and been through the wars. He said it has been very humbling and right away she started taking care of him and what he needed done. Kathie Lee said that is real love, unconditional love and not what we see in the movies.
Jo said Julliann is easy to love, but Christ has given them the strength to deal with this. They took vows that said for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health and they have been through all of them. She said it has been an incredible life with him and they will have lots more of that.