Help Love Win the Day

Wine industry rallies ’round friend in need.

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.
The Oregon wine industry is a close-knit community. When someone falls, we all feel it. Such is the case for my friend and colleague, Shelby Zadow.

Shelby entered the wine industry at Cooper Mountain Vineyards, where she worked part time in the tasting room. For three years, Shelby worked at Willamette Valley Vineyards, creating lasting friendships and making a difference at the iconic winery. She has since remained a volunteer in the industry helping with small producers in the valley. 

In 1999, Shelby met Ryan Zadow through mutual friends, and within a year, a great friendship turned into life-long love. In 2003, they tied the knot. After several years of school and hard work, they decided it was time to expand their family. But following six years of procedures, tests and surgeries to achieve their dream of becoming parents, the Zadows realized infertility was a hurdle they could not clear; they began exploring adoption.

Through their own their penny-pinching measures, and the generosity of friends and family — Shelby’s mother authored a children’s book to raise money — and their own fundraising — making home-brewed craft beer in exchange for donations — they finally accumulated enough to enter the adoption pool.

After a roller coaster of emotions that is the adoption process, including interviews and endless paperwork, a match was found. Many months later, on Dec. 26, 2014, Bennett Curtis Declan Zadow was welcomed into the world and into the grateful arms of Shelby and Ryan.

Then, the unimaginable happened: At two weeks old, newborn Bennett was diagnosed with AML leukemia, an extremely rare cancer — one in a million.

Shelby wrote on Facebook, “In a few short hours, we went from living in a dream to one of the worst nights of our lives.”

Bennett immediately started treatment at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

“We named him Bennett because it means blessed one, and we are holding onto that. He's blessed to have come here so that he can be at one of the best children's hospitals in the country,” Shelby stated in a later post.

Focused on caring for their precious baby, the Zadows are, once again, facing an uphill financial battle: the cost of cancer treatment. They need your help.

Meg Murray, also a former employee of Willamette Valley Vineyards, has started fundraising for medical expenses on behalf of the Zadows. Willamette Valley Vineyards founder Jim Bernau, without hesitation, pledged to match the first $5,000 donated. After several days, the site reached its initial goal of $30,000, but there is more money to raise — as medical expenses will be much greater than this — which is why I am reaching out to you.

The world is full of love and random acts of kindness. If you are able to donate, please do. Even $10 could help this little family continue its journey beyond the walls of the hospital and to the nursery waiting at home.

From the wise words of a close friend, “Don’t downplay what a small gesture can do to help love win the day.”

Log on to: to donate.


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