It seems like every time you turn around someone else you know is being diagnosed with some form of cancer. My family has been affected a few times. In April of 2003, my cousin was diagnosed with CML, a form of Leukemia. My family got involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and started to run and walk marathons and half marathons to raise money for awareness of this horrible disease. This is when we met the Shea Family!! My mother, Marge, was a walker and spent many a Saturday morning walking with Ray.
In October of 2006, Marge was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She was crushed, but determined to beat it. A week after her surgery, she was on a plane to Bermuda to visit our friends and had already made arrangements to visit a Dr. there if she had any problems!!! Following doctors orders, and doing exactly what she was told, Marge was a trooper through the chemo and radiation. Slowly but surely she got her strength back, but had to miss walking the Bay Head 5k in May of 2007. The chemo had wiped her out and she just wasn't strong enough to walk that year. She returned to Bermuda again in November of 2007, when our family went to have Thanksgiving with our friends. Marge got healthier and stronger and was sooo excited to be able to join the Shea family and walk in 2008. A few short months later, Marge started to experience some medical issues that we later found out that the cancer was back and had gone from her lymph nodes to her entire abdomen! Again, determined to beat the Cancer, she fought like a trooper. Unfortunately, the Chemo was just too much for her body to handle this time. Marge started Hospice two years and one day after her diagnosis. Marge fought for 3 weeks and was a true inspiration to everyone during that time. She had accepted that her fight was over and she was ready to move on to the next stage in her life. Everyone who came to visit commented on how Marge seemed to accept her fate with such dignity. Marge passed a week before her 64th birthday.
My mother was an inspiration to many, throughout her life, during her illness, and in her passing.