Here is Colleen's story...
When I was 17 my grandmother, my hero, died of Ovarian Cancer, I still get a bit teary when I think about her and still miss her terribly. Since grandma, we have lost so many people to this hideous disease, Mother-in-law, father in law, brother in law, three uncles, a few cousins, and my Dad. Multiple friends have also fought the battle and lost.
The research and steps made to find a cure have made it a happy ending because I have several close friends that are survivors! We have identified several of the genetic markers in family members thanks to the research; this has given us many awesome years with some of the family due to the knowledge of the genetic markers so they have been able to get preventative testing for early detection. There are so many people touched by the disease, as I was talking to the car salesman, he told me about his mother and his aunt. While going through my own treatment, I met a man in the grocery store that told me the story of his wife that had cancer and died; he had a tear in his eye and looked so sad. At the swimming pool while I was trying to regain movement in my arms and upper body, I was approached by a lady that told me of her daughter who was battling a rare cancer; she was in her 20s….
I know people think they may not know anyone that has been touched by cancer but just listening to the heartbreak and stories and looking at my family that stood by me when I was not able to lift more than a few pounds with my arms, could barely move some days and was so sick during chemo that laying on the cold floor was the only thing that I could do because the energy to get up and wait for another round of getting sick just took too much energy… The journey has taught us about the genetics of cancer and unfortunately there are many bad genes in our family. The good part of knowing this information the capability/opportunity to be proactive and get the testing for early detection! Early detection seems to be the best treatment as of now…
As I made the quilt I thought of all those that I have known and loved that have had to fight in their own battle with cancer. Some won. Some did not. I asked some of my friends to share how they had been touched or affected by cancer and to share their own personal stories. Many thanks to all that shared!
This quilt is in memory of ...
Grandma Olafson, Grandma Walton, Dad – Steve Olafson, Mary Jo Frizzell, Walt Sr. Frizzell, Greg Frizzell, Lawrence Olafson, Bill Olafson, George Walton, , LaDonna Breidjford, Jean Hodges, Kris Larson, Karen England, Bonnie, Karen England, Mike York, Jim, Brian Wheeler, - I am missing lots here - Colleen Frizzell
My Father, Robert W. Johnson died from pancreatic cancer - Mark Johnson
My dad went home with the Lord due to prostate cancer. - Lonnie Gibson
Top of the list of people in my life taken by cancer is Mom (Sandi Nolan), who lost her battle way too young on 4/22/1995. I miss her every day. Also cousins, Joe Weigel, who died from leukemia complications a couple of years ago and Scott Gromer, tragically lost many years ago at the age of 16, only days after being diagnosed with Hodgkins. - Linda Hopp
Lost my husband in 1998 and my Mom 2 years ago - Cindy White
I lost my sister Cathy in 2011 to cancer. - Ruth Lopez
Dad, Dave Russell, went to heaven on November 19, 2014. Hospice care givers are a gift from God. - Lori Schleich
I lost my Dad to lung cancer in '09. I still miss him - Sheryl Blair
My God Mother Theresa Duran is a cancer survivor. - Susan Moreno
We lost our 8 year old nephew Dylan Maldonado in April of 2013 to lymphoblastic leukemia. Ron's father Carl Maldonado January of 2016 (lung and colon). Patricia Mascarenas February 2015 (had a few different types of cancer). Patricia Mabry (pancreatic). Sylvia Mantelli (colon) - Kathy Bell
Grandpa Schleich died of prostrate cancer, his daughter, Clara Wirth had cancer as well. Great Grandpa Bohl had throat cancer, Auntie Bob, Uncle Ralph, Aunt Marie, and my cousin Dyke. Not so untouched by cancer after all. - Carol Schleich
This quilt is in honor of...
Mama Bessler, Julie Palermo, Linda Fischlein, Donna Gaul, Linda Kline, Laura Olafson, Joan neighbor, Colleen Frizzell, Susan McCamey, Marti Thompson, Karen the Piano Lady, - I know I am missing so many here… - Colleen Frizzell
My Mother, Betty J. Johnson beat breast cancer. I am a survivor, also. The memory I have is of the support of family and friends - like you and Dave -- who kept me going through your prayers and encouragement. And twizzlers. And cashews. Mostly prayer, though. - Mark Johnson
Currently fighting are my brother in law, Tim, who has a rare cancer of the small bowel, My son-in-law Jon's Dad, Mike Krauski, currently in a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins for pancreatic cancer, Caryn's Mom, Nina, a friends daughter, Lynn Washabaugh, with multiple myeloma, who has had her own stem cells harvested and is going in today to have them transplanted back into her (she will be in isolation for some time). Also another church friend, Lynn Hammerlund, who has metastasized breast cancer, now in her bones. As for survivors, we have 2 musicians from church, Colleen and Chris, that are both brain tumor survivors, our friend Mike LeRoy is now free of prostate cancer, and Cindy Hopp's sister, Sheree Cannis, survived the removal of a large tumor from her abdomen a couple of years ago. I know there are more that I'm forgetting, but from this list it's obvious that cancer affects every facet of our lives! I'm in awe of the positive and upbeat attitudes of all of the people I know that have either survived or are fighting cancer and I pray every day for a breakthrough and cure. - Linda Hopp
My cousin Deb is a survivor and her husband Allen is currently battling cancer. - Ruth Lopez
Although my Dad passed 9/14/14 due to complications of Alzheimers, he did survive prostate cancer, I believe in 1999. - Sally Kilpatrick
My son and your cousin, Joseph Patrick Weigel, age 45, who went to be with the Lord on November 3, 2012, from complications after a bone marrow transplant. He beat leukemia, but lost his life to a subsequent autoimmune disorder that caused respiratory failure. - Sheila Weigel
I just lost a dear friend Marilyn Presley in March. - Susan Moreno
Colleen is passionate about Relay and shares... "due to the changes we have seen just since my diagnosis I have chosen Relay as my event to support. The genetic testing in 2012 when I went through it was over $2000, with new laws and information, it can now be done for under $100."
I don't think that there is a single person that is not affected by cancer. It is a nasty, ugly, mean disease and I can only hope that science can defeat it once and for all! I know that this quilt will help to raise money to get one step closer to a cancer free world...
This one is for all those fighting!
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