Today’s guest post is written by Tracy Schwartz. Tracy’s mother Susan was part of a very small group of women, including my Aunt, that were the best of friends since childhood. Please take a moment to read how Tracy is honoring her mother….
June 6, 2010 my mother, Susan Schwartz lost her battle to Breast Cancer after fighting for 17 years. She was just short of her 51st birthday and had so much more to live for. For those of you who didn’t know her she was a spunky red-head with a heart of gold. Many times we would be in the supermarket or the mall and she would talk to complete strangers. My mother cared about everyone else before herself and that showed throughout her life. During her battle with cancer she would find out that she would need Chemotherapy treatments every Thursday indefinitely. Thursday morning would roll around and she would pack her needlepoint bag, lunch and puzzle books and head to the Dr.’s office. 3 hours later she was off to work. I never remember her complaining or upset, I just remember her determination to fight this disease head on with the love and support of her family, friends, and doctors. Susan Schwartz, my mother gave it her all and fought hard every day.
That awful day in June forever changed my perspective on life and the impact I want to make on others.
With the loss of my mother I wasn’t sure what I would do. I knew she would have wanted me to move on, continue to make a difference in this world and fight for what I believe in. I stood still in time, unable to cope with her loss, to move forward, to accept the fact I would no longer hear her laughter or see her smile. Cancer, a horrible six letter word took my best friend and I was left to pick up the pieces. It was this horrendous disease that left me feeling alone in this world. With the love and support of my friends and family I was able to slowly move forward with life and resume to the life my mother would have wanted for me.
I did some volunteer work here and there, raised funds for walks in memory of my mother and continued her legacy by volunteering with different organizations around NJ; but never accepted a challenge on this scale.
Recently I was nominated by a close friend, Lauren Hoban and accepted the challenge of running for Man & Woman of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of NYC. This is a ten-week fundraising competition to earn the title of Woman of the Year, by raising funds for blood cancer research. Every dollar counts as a vote and I have set my goal at $30,000. “This One is for You” is in memory of my mother, but also for all those who are currently fighting this disease as well. LLS is investing in blood cancer research, providing critical information and support for patients and their families, and advocating for issues impacting blood cancer patients. “Research funded by LLS has led or contributed to advances such as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies such as Gleevec, Rituxan, Velecade, etc…” Gleevec is also approved for patients with rare skin and stomach tumors, and showing promise in many other cancers including Breast Cancer.
Take a moment and watch this video to learn more about Susan. Whether you have been affected directly or indirectly let’s stand together to make a difference and find a cure for cancer. Here is the link for donations. I ask you personally to share “This One is for You” my fundraising campaign with your family and friends!