By Michelle Ball
“A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.”
Cancer. A small word filled with endless sorrow. For most of us we will avoid hearing the words that others have had to face. For the unlucky few, cancer becomes a part of life that they will either beat or unfortunately lose.
For Amy Rauch Neilson, the wife of Donald Neilson, and mother of Theodore Neilson, cancer was something that swept into their lives like a tempest. But for Amy, this wasn’t a time for sulking, it was a time for fighting. In March 2006, Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer. After receiving a double mastectomy, chemo-therapy, and copious amounts of radiation, it appeared that she had a chance in beating it. Unfortunately in January 2011, she was re-diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that had metastasized in her lungs. She received harsh yet meticulous treatment in hopes she would fight this disease for good, so she could spend quality time with her then five-year old son Theo and supportive husband Donald.
Amy is most notable for her work with promoting cancer awareness. She had a blog titled “itsinthegenes.org”, where she documented her journey almost on a daily basis and gave hope to others like her. Hundreds of readers gave her ample feedback on her writing, her journey and her advice. She also staged many fundraisers for cancer awareness and became the symbol for it. “Bras for a Cause” was one of her most prided events, and will continue to raise money and hope for those who battle this treacherous fight.
To all who knew her, Amy was a symbol of hope. she represented the definition of fighter. Even in her last moments on Earth, Amy’s words touched the lives of all those who knew her. When she got to the point of being unable to document her journey, friends took on her role and let her worried readers know exactly how she was doing.
Around 3:15 pm, Sunday May 6th, Amy finally met her end and lost her battle against cancer. At this point, the cancer had spread to her bones and brain, perpetuating itself into something unmanageable. She was surrounded by her loved ones and was kept comfortable from hospice care.
Although death is something that symbolizes an end, it is also something that denotes relief. For Amy, death was inevitable and something she knew she was going to have to face. For her friends and loved ones, it has brought upon a sadness and a void that will take much time to be filled.
Amy was not only the “Mother of the Year,” she was the mother of a lifetime. She was a fighter, lover, and genuinely great person. She will absolutely be missed by all those who knew her and always be seen as a woman who not only made the most of her remaining time, but a woman who celebrated her life by extensively searching for a cure that will perhaps be the answer for those who succeed her.