Aunt’s cancer fight inspired me

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Last Thursday, I traveled to the Kansas City area for my aunt Kathy’s funeral. While it was a somber time, it was also one that I found inspiring.

My aunt, Kathy St. Clair, died Tuesday, Aug. 19, after a 13-year battle against breast cancer. She was only 45 years old, and both of her children are still in high school.

I can’t even imagine how I would react if I learned from my doctors that I had a terminal disease like cancer. Although it was a sad time for my aunt and her family, she chose to fight head on and lived her life to the fullest.

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She wrote out a “bucket list” and traveled all over the world to see sights with her family, visiting Europe, Asia, Africa and more, taking advantage of every last hour she had on earth. She made sure to spend every minute that she could with her family, and that love was apparent and on display at the funeral when her high-school freshman daughter Madelyn gave a truly inspiring eulogy.

Madelyn’s words also included a poem that sits on her family’s fireplace: “What cancer cannot do: Cancer is so limited… it cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot dissolve faith, it cannot destroy peace, it cannot kill friendship, it cannot suppress memories, it cannot silence courage, it cannot invade the soul, it cannot steal eternal life, it cannot conquer the spirit.”

I will miss my aunt Kathy very much, but I feel blessed to have watched this wonderful woman battle cancer with everything that she had, and serve as an inspiration to so many.