My heart is heavy as I reflect on the life and loss of my friend Sandra Fleeks. I met Sandra several years ago through our young survivors group and was immediately touched by her sweet kindness. She graciously faced metastatic breast cancer and many side effects for two years, but you wouldn’t know it. She always had a smile on her face and time and love to share to help others. Sandra died yesterday… and my heart goes out to her friends and family.
Sandra was an active community member, volunteering for many organizations around town. We were lucky for Hope Scarves to be one of them. She was our February Face of Hope, you can see her profile here. https://hopescarves.org/face-of-hope-february-2014-sandra/. She was also a scarf and story donor and usually one of the first to answer my request for help from survivors at public speaking events, booths or a special event.
I tremble as I face the same disease that she fought for two years and ultimately robbed her of a long, complete life on Earth. I know she is at peace now and free of the pain she was feeling. But, I am so angry at breast cancer. I am so angry that this disease kills so many women each year (41,000) and that over the past 30 years although the “awareness” and “pinkness” has increased exponentially, the death rate has basically stayed steady. I pray for advances in medicine and that we really, really might actually be able to find a cure to this awful disease so that no more children have to lose their moms. Selfishly, especially mine.
Peace be with Sandra’s family and may we carry on a little bit of her kind, gentle ways in the work of Hope Scarves.
Thank you Sandra for showing me how to be brave.