Earlier this week my family and I had to lay to rest our sister-in-law, Natalie. She was 35 years old, married to my wife’s brother and they had two extraordinary daughters (ages 1 and 3). I cannot find the words to express the sorrow and grief all of us are feeling and I can’t even begin to comprehend what my brother-in-law is experiencing. All my prayers go out to him.
Nat always took such good care of herself. I always thought I got up early, but it never failed that before I even had my first cup of coffee she came walking in the door after completing an early morning run. I wish I had that kind of dexterity! I know that was the kind of lifestyle she was encouraging with her daughters as she only allowed treats on rare or special occasions, much to the chagrin of the grandparents 🙂
Nat was diagnosed with a very rare form of lymphoma (called Subcutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma). She’s had it for as long as I’ve known her but it was in remission until about a year ago (just before their second daughter was born). They tried several treatments but ultimately decided to do a bone marrow transplant and during the chemo treatments, to prepare for the transplant, she was taken into the ICU when the doctor’s found fungal pneumonia. She fought it gallantly but ultimately passed away from complications associated with the pneumonia.
When I was reading the beautiful obituary there was a section near the end where a foundation was mentioned called the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD – http://www.rarediseases.org/). This organization was formed to research “orphan” diseases to identify, treat and cure rare diseases. Donations in Natalie’s name can be made to NORD.
Just as these organizations are dedicated to finding treatments and cures, the family and friends of Natalie are dedicated to passing on to her daughters just how extraordinary and tremendous of a person she was. We will see to it that her influence on us will pass vicariously to her children.
We love you, Natalie!!
Rest in Peace.