In last week’s blog and podcast, Judy Erdahl shared her breast cancer story: from initial diagnosis, to Metastatic progression, to hospice. Woven throughout her story are the incredibly strong threads of courage, hope, and wisdom.
Judy shared, “Every moment in life is important, and I think we overlook the simple moments and just pay attention to the big moments. It’s the simple ones that really matter: having dinner with your family, meeting a friend for coffee, going on a walk and noticing the trees and birds singing. I think it’s those things that are very, very important.” And Judy has practiced what she preaches, as evidenced by the family, friends, and community who are part of Team Judy.
Team Judy, lead by “Captain Judy”, has rallied with her to advocate and fundraise for scientific research in Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). Today, we share excerpts from the thoughts and feelings of some of the Team Judy members (click HERE or on the Team Judy buttons image above to read their full tributes to Judy). Their love and admiration for Judy and their resolve and perseverance to carry on Captain Judy’s work will amaze and inspire you:
- “Team Judy is now in our 9th year of raising money for MBC research and supporting our dear Judy in any way that we can. Throughout this journey, Judy is always full of grace, cheer, and determination. Judy never walks away from a challenge and she is sure to find a way to help others in the midst of her own difficult journey. For us, the members of Team Judy, the journey with Judy has been meaningful, heart-breaking, and yet, positive. We have nudged scientific discovery forward, leading to better treatments for MBC patients in the future. The idea that sometime in the future, metastatic breast cancer will become a manageable disease is such fuel for inspiration and motivation for all of us!”
- “How can you put into words/ themes the profound and life changing impact someone has had on you? How can you put into words that every decision, every choice, every moment with my children, every moment showing love to a stranger…..has been influenced by this one person? It is nearly impossible. Cancer is devastating. . . . However, throughout all of this I am going to “pull a Judy” and choose to look for something positive. If I am being truly honest I don’t think I would have been as intentional about asking the questions I wanted to ask and disciplined about writing down the life lessons Judy has taught me over the years. So, for that I am grateful.”
- “To me, Judy will always be a selfless Champion…I don’t believe research would be where it is today without her dedication. Photographing and archiving numerous Team Judy events for her was both an honor and a privilege! Judy has been a Breast Cancer Survivor….for 13 years but she will remain my friend…forever. And I will see her again one day, in heaven, completely restored. THAT will be a magnificent day!”
- “Throughout this journey with cancer, Judy has maintained her sense of humor and commitment to others. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried. We’ve walked, we’ve raised money, we’ve partied, and we have cared about each other. Judy has cared for everyone in her world making sure they know she loves them. She has advocated for what they need. She has been a role model to many of us. And she has taught all of us how to graciously accept help when times get tough. As the witches sang in the musical Wicked, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” Judy, you have made an incredible impact on my life and so very, very many people. Thank you for showing all of us what it means to love and care for others. I love you dear friend!”
- “Cancer is complicated, research is complicated, cures are complicated, but our Judy isn’t. She touches so many lives from her time as a PTO president, School Board Member, parent educator, blogger, advocate, to being a friend, mother, wife and daughter. She is always present, eager to learn, volunteer, laugh, lead, create, work hard, share her story, cry and love. Judy’s not complicated: she inspires, she’s grace, she’s inclusive, her smile and energy contagious, she lives in the moment and embraces joy. I’m thrilled to be on this path with her, eager to continue the mission, and proud to call her friend.”
- “It was so easy for me to forget the reality of what Judy was living with as she never complained nor looked for pity. She was and continues to be the bravest soldier in the battle against breast cancer. Her work will live on and her legacy will be immortalized for the good difference she made in all our lives and in the work to treat and cure breast cancer.”
We would love to share the entire story with you:
- To read the entire Team Judy tribute, click HERE.
- To listen to Judy’s podcast, click HERE.
- To read Judy’s blog, Pink is Complicated, click HERE.
Compiled by Amy Tix, Firefly staffer and breast cancer survivor, who feels incredibly grateful that Judy and her team have entrusted their story to us. That we may learn from their hard-earned wisdom and hold all of them in the light as their paths soon diverge.