A tribute to Suzanne Bartholomew
I never thought my blog would turn into a way for me to say goodbye and show my admiration and respect for true cancer heroes. But here I go again. This week, I said goodbye to a beautiful, inspiring, and wonderful woman. I sat among throngs of people at Ira Kaufman Funeral Home to hear about Suzanne’s life . . . how she touched people everywhere she went; how she was always far more concerned about others than herself, even when she was battling for her life.
Suzanne came into my world when I needed her most. She fought stage II breast cancer 1 year before me, and I could always count on her for a pep talk, advice, inspiring cards, and some great hats. Her hats kept me warm all winter long and made me remember that it wouldn’t be too long until I was done with them.
In 2008, Suzanne and I both walked the Breast Cancer 3-Day. We held hands as we walked into closing ceremonies. We were both survivors, done with treatment. We had beaten cancer. Less than 1 year later, Suzanne’s cancer was back and she was unable to walk with her Suz Cruise team. Members of my team tucked pictures of Suzanne into our packs and prayed throughout the entire weekend that Suzanne would once again beat cancer. It was a much tougher road this time–the cancer had spread . . . but a miracle drug started killing those cancer cells. And in 2010, Suzanne was walking again. She not only walked; she was the top fundraiser in Michigan for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. And she signed up to walk again in 2011.
Suzanne was passionate about contributing to find a cure. She wanted her girls to know a world without breast cancer. For Suzanne, I will fight harder than ever before. I will continue to walk, raise awareness, and fight this terrible disease with a goal to fulfill Suzanne’s dream and the dreams of so many others. For Suzanne and all women, we will say goodbye to breast cancer forever.