We lost a true hero over the July 4th weekend. Today, we honor Jeanne Angalet, whose presence in our My CCA Support chat room, Blue Hope Nation, and Buddy Program was so constant that we almost took it for granted.
No matter how tough things were for her, she would show up, every day and make us laugh. In fact, you would nearly forget she had been fighting this disease for ten years. She was a hope and inspiration to everyone she met in our communities as well as in all of the support groups she so loved participating in.[caption id="attachment_3522" align="alignright" width="286"] Jeanne (third from left) and the My CCA Support chat room moderators[/caption]
In her memory, we asked her fellow chat room moderators to share a few words. Here are some of their thoughts as they struggle to absorb the reality of her passing.
"Jeanne was - and always will be - a role model. She started the stage IV chats. I have many happy memories of time with her at the Colon Cancer Alliance's conferences, in chat and on the phone. We loved to conspire to make trouble and had the good hearts to know when to keep it in jest. She reminds me again that expecting cancer to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting a bull not to charge you because you are a vegetarian." - John L.
"I believe it was James Dean who wrote, "Love truly, laugh uncontrollably," but it was Jeanne who epitomized it. Jeanne always had a kind word and smile to those who came into the chat room. She was passionate about helping everyone and for finding a cure for us all. I will truly miss Jeanne's friendship, her spunk, her fight. Rest peacefully, my friend." - Dale T.
"When I first met Jeanne, she had just written a blog post about a childhood book she used to read that referred to "my place in space." She was an intelligent, thoughtful person who was looking for meaning in this cancer diagnosis like so many of us do. We connected deeply when I told her that her place was here, with us, at the Colon Cancer Alliance. She had been doing advocacy and support work for a while already by then, and didn't realize the lifeline she offered to others was so valuable. We went back to that conversation many times over the years during our "weak moments" when either she or I were questioning the price we were paying for living. In the end, she chose her place in space with courage and dignity. I will never forget that. None of us knows the hour, or the circumstance, that will ultimately move us from this life to the next. It is not my focus now. I am thinking of Jeanne's sense of humor, talent, and the great compassion she held for all. Most of all, I am thinking about how lucky I was to get to know her. Our paths that joined together may have been on rough roads, but there have been certainly worth traveling." - Sue K.
"Having sat here thinking about what to say, I am really at a loss for words. After finding the Colon Cancer Alliance, I met Jeanne. She helped me through this as much or more than anything. She taught me to open up about it, to not be embarrassed. She made me laugh. I told her she was my hero and I meant it. I will always consider myself blessed to have met her last December - to share a "cupcake," I might add. She had so much life in her. I will miss you so much. I will always love you and you will always be in my heart. Peace." - Travis M.
"When I look at the stars that God sprinkles in the heavens for our enjoyment, there will be another star added. Not a regular star, but a superstar that will pulsate your love. As you have given yourself to be a beacon of information for so many people in the dark regarding cancer, I have spilled millions of tears because of your sweet, caring personality that you had for everyone you touch." - Michael C.
"Jeanne is/was a good friend to many people, even though she never met some of her friends face-to-face. Being a part of the Colon Cancer Alliance, you sometimes become very close to people and yet never meet in person. I was truly lucky to meet her in Miami at the National Conference. I remember like it was yesterday. I was getting off the elevator, we both looked at each other, reading out name tags and she said "Harry?" I said "JA!" We hugged. It was one of the best hugs I have ever had. We had talked online for a couple of years before the trip and had became good friends. I could tell her everything and never be judged. We talked on the phone and texted each other often. I often forgot about the time difference, but she never complained. She would talk to anyone, anytime of day if she was up to it. I will miss her, but I know she is already a star that will watch over us. My deepest condolences to Eddie, her best friend in the world. Rest in peace, my dear friend. May your name be forever a blessing." - Harry G.
"I cannot begin to express the profound loss I am feeling regarding the death of my dear friend, Jeanne, who was the cornerstone of our chat room. You could rest assured she would always be there to welcome new folks, offer suggestions on how to live your best life and comfort one and all with the love and support that is essential to those of us who visit the chat room. Jeanne really did it all! She was intelligent, articulate, caring, helpful, kind and compassionate. She had a great sense of humor and inspired and encouraged so many with her courage, strength and wisdom. She truly is our hero and touched my life in a profound way. Not only did we get to visit with each other at Colon Cancer Alliance conferences, but we got to be roommates! I am so grateful that we had that extra time to truly bond. I send my heartfelt condolences to Eddie, her faithful companion, her children, Julia and Alex, their spouses, her sister and brother and mom and everyone who loved her. Jeanne made the world a better place, and I am a better person for having known her. It is an understatement to say that I will miss her more than words can say." - Laura C.
You will never be forgotten, Jeanne. Our hearts go out to your family and friends. We will carry on helping every patient who arrives in our community in your memory.
Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information and support. If you have additional questions about colon cancer or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.