It was an ordinary day. Just opened my Travel-TalkOnline (TTOL) website and found that a member's daughter had died. I got to know Barbara, the TTOL member, this past winter when I communicated with her about making a stop at her husband Dee's store on Front Street in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. We emailed back and forth and I felt I got to know her and was hoping to meet her and her husband when Carol and I traveled to St. Martin this past May. Well, we never got to visit with Barbara and Dee, but I emailed her and told her we would love to see her garden and meet the "gardener" (found out it was Dee) on our trip next spring. She told me that would be great and I was to notify her when we were ready to return to the island. Then I opened TTOL and found that her daughter, Erika, had died. I can't imagine how one could survive the death of a child. Tough enough going through the death of my dad and mom, but a child? Evidently Erika had gone through a long battle with cervical cancer before her death.
Erika's fundraiser for cancer research.
Seems that Erika had established an online advocacy website to help fund cancer research and awareness. She titled it "Be The Change" and it was sub-titled "Together we fight - Together we win." She stated that cervical cancer affects over 30,000 women in Latin America/Caribbean this year alone. Carol and I sent an online message to Barbara and Dee expressing our sorrow at the lost of their child, but decided to go one step farther and opened the link to the "Be The Change" website and made a donation in Erika's memory. If anyone reading this story would care to do the same, you can do so by accessing Barbara's story about her daughter at http://barcann.livejournal.com and clicking on the link to donate. Barbara and Dee's life will never be the same, but they may be able to weather the storm knowing that others may be saved through the campaign and funds that their lovely daughter established before her death. God bless them all! It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.