DADE CITY, Fla. — A Wesley Chapel mother who is battling breast cancer started a new family tradition.
Jennifer Koszewnik and her family visited Ergle Christmas Tree Farm in Dade City. It's the first time the family has picked out a Christmas tree.
"I'm actually Jewish and we're raising our boys Jewish. My husband grew up not Jewish so it's our first time having a live tree or Christmas tree," said Koszewnik.
Koszewnik said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in September. She turned 40 years old this week. She already had surgery and will need chemotherapy for the next year.
She said 2020 made her realize making memories matter.
"We wanted to bring some nature inside and just spend time with our family and value what we value the most which is time together," said Koszewnik.
For the past 35 years, customers have visited Ergle Christmas Tree Farm. Customers may cut down a Florida Christmas tree or choose from a shipment of fresh trees.
Tony Harris owns the farm with his wife, Debbie. They said a shipment of trees from North Carolina arrived on Thursday.
The farm opened on Saturday, a week earlier than previous years.
"I mean everybody wants something to be happy about right now and putting up a Christmas tree seems to be it," said Tony Harris, owner of Ergle Christmas Tree Farm. "Get a fresh Christmas tree and take it home and decorate it and everyone's around the tree. It's quite the celebration."
Koszewnik said her family left with a tree and the gift of hope. Harris said his wife, Debbie, battled breast cancer about four years ago.
"I think this year really made us realize, it's not about the things. It's really about the people and the experiences," she said.
Ergle Christmas Tree Farm is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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