by Bonnie Julius
Those have been the most horrific words I've
heard during my 64 years of life. And, the words weren't being said to me, but rather my beautiful 39-year-old daughter,
as I sat beside her.
Crickett moved through her 4 ½ month bout with metastatic breast cancer with the
same positive self-image she possessed throughout her life. Although determined to beat her disease, Crickett
fully accepted that this was not meant to be and embraced the idea that God had a different plan for her.
After coping with the initial
shock and painful emotions surrounding the loss of my daughter and best friend, I came to consider Crickett my guardian angel
and to be inspired by her desire to help others. I recalled her fellow chemo patients, many of whom possessed
the determination to conquer this terrible disease, but who had lost their identity. The overwhelming compassion
I felt for my own daughter extended to these women as well. I thought often of the tremendous need that
exists to assist women along the dreaded breast cancer road, and pondered how I could offer them something to improve their
self-esteem and quality of life, and to rekindle their feelings of being a woman.
I partnered with my niece,
Carole Trone, who was not only a cousin but good friend of Crickett. We began brainstorming how we could
launch a program committed to aiding breast cancer patients in some way. Recognizing that
treatment costs can quickly combine with everyday living expenses to absorb an individual’s or family’s income,
erode their savings, and lead to overwhelming debt, we decided to fund those items and services sometimes considered frivolous
or unnecessary. Through a number of highs and lows, Crickett’s Answer for Cancer
was finally born! Involving the community has been a most rewarding experience, as the
outpouring of generosity and support has been both heartwarming and humbling.
In her self-assured way of
moving through life, Crickett saw each day as an opportunity to live life to the fullest and to celebrate
the gift of life. She recognized that these celebrations could, in turn, provide the courage
necessary to get through each day. Carole and I have been inspired by Crickett’s
approach to life, and hope that our mission to assist other women with breast cancer will provide them with the hope, inspiration,
and support they need to celebrate their own lives every day.