Our daughter Heather was a remarkable young woman. She fought this disease for seven years. During that time she kept her job as Malta town planner. Malta is a small town in upstate New York.
When Heather was first diagnosed she had just started her job, and just started dating Rich, who would later become her husband. It was such a shock to all of us. Heather had always loved the sun. She spent two years in peace corps Nepal, where every day she couldn't avoid being in it. Who knew she would come home with such a small spot on her shoulder that would eventually mean her death.
Rich was instrumental in finding the best treatment. Her doctor's here in New York state gave her 6 months. She was accepted in clinical trials at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She tried to do everything right: good food, exercise, positive thinking. Every couple of years it would come back and the fight would begin again.
Heather and Rich were married in October of 2004 and were so happy. They were always doing something for others. In 2006 Heather and Rich helped to sponsor a young women from Nepal. She moved in with them and was planning to attend college here in New York State. Later that year Heather's husband accepted a job in Boston. During that same time they were arranging to adopt a baby boy from Guatemala. That was a very stressful time for all; never really knowing if and when there baby would arrive.
After moving to Boston Heather accepted a job as assistant town planner for Peabody, Massachusetts. Finally, after 17 months they received word that they could go to Guatemala and get their son. What a happy time. That was April 2008. In May of that same year her cancer came back with a vengeance. After two spinal surgeries that left Heather unable to walk and in such horrific pain, she lost her battle in June of 2009.
In her short life Heather helped so many people make better lives for themselves. She will be remembered by all who loved her as a caring, loving person who was always there to help.
I miss her every second of every day, she was my life.