In Memoriam

Star Trails Algonquin Park
Photo by Warner Strauss via Flickr

Yesterday I heard the news via Twitter, as I hear most news lately, especially the sad kind. Susan had passed away. While it was not totally surprising or shocking, that didn’t stop the tears, sadness and overall feelings of loss of a woman I’d never even met in person. A woman whose blog I started following years ago, very soon after she was first diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I’ve written about Susan before, as she was a nursing mom, with a son only a bit older than Lucy and an infant who was still breastfeeding. She could have been me.

But really, she was so very her. A brilliant scientist who worked for NASA while raising her two courageous boys and fighting that bitch, cancer. She was open and honest, and she refused to stop fighting. She started the blog “Mothers with Cancer,” which has given support and supplies to mom’s all over the country. She promoted the “Army of Women,” which supports research, a cause she so desperately fought for. Even though she had every right to feel dejected and focus solely on herself, she spent so much of her time working for others. Other women. Other moms.

I simply cannot fathom what her boys (7 and 4) and her husband are going through right now. The thought of it makes me burst into tears.

In lieu of flowers, Susan’s family is asking donations be made to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. IBC is a type of cancer that is under-researched, and almost always fatal. The disease presents itself much differently than traditional breast cancer and is often found in nursing mothers.

Or, if you can’t afford a monetary donation right now (I hear ya), do something awesome today. Teach your kids to count stars. Hold open a door for someone. Tell someone you love how you feel. Take a deep breath and be grateful. Just like Susan always did.

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