Jackie’s Angels Story
After our beautiful May wedding, where tons of family shared lots of laughs and memories, my new husband and I flew away to a romantic getaway in Maui to spend our honeymoon together. When we got home, my first phone call was to my Mom to ask her when I could come over to tell her all about it and show her our hundreds of pictures we took throughout our vacation. I was surprised when my Dad answered the phone and said she was having kidney pain and was napping. I was bummed, but understood that she just needed her rest. The next morning my Mom called me, she sounded exhausted and said she needed to go to the emergency room. I immediately went and picked her up and took her to the emergency room to see what was going on with her. They found a tumor in her kidney. My Mom was not the type to jump to any type of conclusion that something was wrong with her, and was a very normal, basic, everyday person with no significant issues with her health. So you can imagine my family’s surprise when the doctor came in to tell us that the tumor in her kidney was in fact cancer. The word no one wants to hear: Cancer. We had to wrap our brains around what exactly that meant for us, for her, and for our family.
My family knew the following months after her diagnosis was going to be difficult, but we had no idea how short of time we were going to have with her. After the removal of her kidney, chemotherapy treatments, multiple hospital visits and scans to determine each stage she was at, at five months after her diagnosis, we again heard words that no one wants to hear: It’s terminal cancer. November 21, 2011, my Mom lost her battle with kidney cancer. At that moment, naturally, I thought of every single memory I’ve had with my Mom. I thought of my Dad and how he was going to be without his wife of 32 years. I thought of my nephew that had only 2 years with her, yet worshiped the ground she walked on. I thought of my siblings and how much we looked up to her, and how we were going to keep our family together, like she did. I thought of my future unborn children and how they will never get the opportunity to know their amazing, loving grandmother. I thought about how nothing was ever going to be the same without her.
The Run for Ribbons event has been something I knew I had to get involved in. It doesn’t discriminate any type of cancer; it’s your choice on who, what and why you support. I know it has been said many times, but cancer affects everyone in one way or another. I run for my mother Jackie Richelieu.
~ Nicole Prince, Foundation Board Member