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Dear Tom,

My mom is a phenomenal woman who drove the city bus for 34 years.  her regulars called her “momma Gwen” and her favorite route was the number 7 – that’s the one that goes past all the museums, the botanic gardens, the zoo and the university – she calls it “the scenic route.”

She was forced into early retirement in 2012 due to pulmonary fibrosis – often referred to as “scarring of the lungs.”  But last July, at age 65, she got a new lease on life with a double lung transplant.

My mother spent most of her life helping others: people on the street, passengers from the bus, folks from her church, friends in need, neighbors in despair and family.

In her spare time, she hangs out with other retired bus drivers – they go out for lunch, watch movies and go to the mall to walk around.  She also volunteers at the women’s auxiliary and at her church, where she has been a member for over 30 years.

Every fall, my church attends a 3-day women’s retreat at the cove in Asheville, North Carolina.  I would love for her to be able to join me there now that she is healthy.

Unfortunately it is something she can’t afford due to the cost of her anti-rejection medications. I would be beyond grateful if you would allow me this gift to my mother.

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Gwen Robinzine  was originally published on