Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Missing Susan

Two days ago we lost a shining star. Today, we lay her to rest. Susan, you were and still are an inspiration to me. You asked the tough questions, you demanded the answers, you fought like a warrior. You taught me that dollars need to go to research, that teaching kids about science goes way beyond the classroom, and that being an advocate doesn't always mean yelling and screaming, but walking a steady path towards a goal.

I met Susan four years ago through the local blogging community. We talked science, we talked advocacy, but most of all I connected to her story. Five years ago I lost my mom. Susan was diagnosed shortly after my mom died, and not only went public with her story, but spent countless hours documenting her journey - the highs and lows, the happy times and the sad. Her blog serves as a roadmap for those starting their journey, or as a diary for those wanting answers. No two people have the same experience with cancer, or walk the same paths in their lives, but Susan opened up her family to us and allowed us to understand more of what my own mom went through when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Today we lay her to rest, and today I donated to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Too little money goes towards research across the globe into this deadly, deadly disease. These folks put our donated dollars into research of IBC, and also advocate for more research dollars, so please consider donating to them as well.

Susan Niebur, you were truly a blessing in my life. I never would have guessed four years ago that you would have taught me so much. Thank you for all that you've done for me, our children, and all of us who have come to know you. I hope that you are looking down on us, proud that we not only paid attention, but that we've taken up your powerful words and have created good with them.

Losing a friend at such a young age sucks. But most of all cancer sucks. Hug your kids a little tighter today, talk to them about the stars and the moon, and take a minute to observe and enjoy your surroundings. Susan would have wanted it.

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