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Louise became my friend more than 30 years ago. Her energy and drive were inspiring, but also her blunt and practical view of life was refreshing. And above all, she was selfless and kind; she never bragged about herself and was always eager to help others. Our friendship spawned a commitment to each other that still remains.
Louise set high standards for herself. After her divorce, Louise worked full-time for a company in Ashland while also working at night cleaning office buildings, and on weekends as a housekeeper. She also attended night school. It was during this time that Louise was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Barely able to keep her house, she had to decline expensive cancer treatments. She was, however, accepted into a free study with Dr. Kaddis at Milford Hospital where she received chemotherapy, radiation, and a partial lumpectomy. Incredibly, Louise continued with her three jobs and night school during these treatments!
Louise continued to work hard and developed a friendship with Dr. Kaddis that remained throughout her life. She was declared "cancer free" five years after her initial treatments but remained cognizant that her cancer may (and did) return many years later. Louise made sure she didn't waste one minute of her precious life.
Louise was successful on all fronts, yet her selfless intention was always to help women with low incomes that were diagnosed with cancer. Facing cancer is a gargantuan task; facing it with inadequate income is overwhelming. This fund was created in Louise's name to provide financial assistance for women in this situation. This was Louise's wish.
Louise also asked that I consult with her friend and mentor, Dr. Kaddis, about additional areas where financial donations would be helpful. End-of-Life care is often overlooked because it’s a topic that few of us want to consider or discuss. When Louise's time came, she received incredible support and caring through the Hospice organization and Dana-Farber. Resources from this fund will also support this good work.
The financial goal of this fund is an ambitious one. It will take hard work, determination, and commitment to achieve it – a fitting legacy for my Weezie.
On behalf of Louise and her family, Thank You – Tom Armstrong
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