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Woman battling brain tumor receives act of kindness

[Sept. 29, 2020: Amy Lange and David Komer]

It was Valentine's Day when 32-year-old Haley Jo Renollet's life turned upside down.

"I broke down hard that night - it's emotional to talk about it," said Haley Jo Renollet. "It was a rough evening - learning that I had a brain tumor.

"I mean, basically that day my entire life changed."

For a long time, the Traverse City native had experienced memory loss, hair loss, and extreme fatigue, and hormonal problems. Her gynecologist had her tested for a pituitary tumor. But that's not what they found.

"I was at work when I got the call from my gynecologist and she said to me, so it's not what we expected - it's worse," Renollet said. "She goes you have a tumor in the center of your brain."

A rare and dangerous tumor. There would be surgery at U of M hospital and she lost her job and her health insurance.

"It's devastating - I basically have lost my life overnight," she said. "Everything I had worked my entire life for, was just stripped away from me."

"Our reaction was exactly the same - shock," said Lori Wagner, Haley's mom.

She says the surgery was scheduled in Ann Arbor - then delayed, due to Covid. Once it had been rescheduled in April, Haley's family couldn't even be with her to see her through it.

"We had to drive down from Traverse City four hours and literally drop her at the door- bawling, all of us," Lori said.

"It was pretty traumatic to go through it by myself, " Haley said.

The surgeons were not able to remove all of the brain tumor. About 40 to 60 percent of it remained. This meant she would have to have weeks of radiation at Beaumont. Her husband and father stayed in Traverse City - and Haley and Lori moved into Hotel Royal Oak.

"They're extraordinary people," said Holly Brasure, manager. "I felt a connection with them and I called Jim immediately like we've got to help these people."

When Brasure heard what Haley was going through, she called one of the hotel's owners, Royal Oak attorney Jim Rasor.

"We really wanted to get involved and help this family - so we did," Rasor said.

They deeply discounted their stay making this terrifying time with no health insurance, a little bit easier.

"He has been a godsend also - in letting us stay here," Lori said. "They are lovely, lovely people."

"Everybody's taken the best care of us," Haley said.

But unbeknownst to Haley and Lori, it was about to get even better.

The owners there knew how worried Haley and Lori were, about being able to afford their stay there on top of all of the other expenses. Now - as it turns out - they don't have to worry about this one.

"I want to tell you your entire stay is comped, no charge," Rasor said.

Both: "What?"

"It's all on us," Rasor said.

"Thank you," Lori said.

"Thank you so much," Haley said. "Thank you, it is beyond words. It literally is a lifesaver for me in my position right now going through this treatment so thank you so much."

Of course, it's not a cure for Haley - but it's a gesture of kindness in a time of trouble - that will never be forgotten.

"Your stay is totally free - it's all zeroed out," Brasure showed Haley.

"In business, it's not all about the money and this is a situation where we can help your family and, you know, it's worth it," Rasor said.

"Together we're going to conquer this, with their help and our attitudes," Lori said. "We're going to conquer this."

This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of the Fox 2 Detroit.


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