The Colon Cancer Alliance experienced the death of a dear volunteer, Sue Kidera, who died earlier this month on April 9th, 2016. Sue was a 10+ year stage IV survivor who was loved by all. Over the years, she helped countless others with her knowledge of managing her disease as well as the support and love she so freely gave to other patients.
The Colon Cancer Alliance extends our deepest sympathy to Sue’s husband, Tom, and her children, Kate, Helsa and Tom as well as her beloved grandchildren, William, Brooke and James and many dear friends and family.[caption id="attachment_3522" align="alignright" width="286"] Sue (second from right) and the chat room moderators[/caption]
Sue touched many lives, but she had a special bond with our volunteer moderators in our chat room. In their own words, you get a picture of the special friend she was to them and they to her.
“If there is no wind, row...I close my eyes and I see Sue sitting on a still lake, soaking in its beauty and peace – Zen like. She rowed hard. For a long time. It was who she was, but it didn’t define her. I love who she is. Her memory. She was born a teacher. She showed us how to give of ourselves and fight for ourselves at the same time. I will miss you, sweet Sue. Love, Dale." - Dale T.
"Our special place always became a bit brighter whenever Sue joined in. Through all the pain, the strife and grief, she’d help us pass the time and share the joy that life could bring in her own unique way. Throughout it all, Sue refused to let the monster win. She fought it bravely. She helped so many. A hero in my eyes. Goodbye, dear friend. Goodbye until we meet again." - Steve H.
"Sue always made me happy to be around her. She always set a wonderful example by what she did …she never stopped following her dreams. She was always friendly, though not overly chatty, making her a perfect chat moderator. She had the power of her convictions and would stand up for herself and her friends. There was a time when the volunteer chat moderators got to be a large close knit group and had different ideas over proposed website changes. Sue was there standing up for what would help the stage IV community and chatters in general. I will always be proud of and value our friendship." - John L.
"To my friend. She was a vegetarian, I am a carnivore. She was a Democrat. I was a Republican (converted to Independent). She would have oatmeal pancakes, I would have steak and eggs. She rowed, ran and exercised. I am a fat guy. Two people couldn’t be so different, and yet so connected. I hate the way we met, but I will always remember my friend’s insight and thoughts. We talked all the time. We should have never met, but I am so thankful we did. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support. I fight everyday because of my friend. My friend knew the answer to this horrible disease. THAT’S LIFE…NEVER LET IT OWN YOU. YOU OWN IT. She taught me that you need to find your own path when you are stage IV. I saw her just before she moved on, and she was a peace, not afraid of what was coming next and ready. We always joked that since she believed in Buddhism, she would come back as a beautiful bird and when I come back I’ll be that bug she feeds to her next family. I miss my friend and will miss her everyday, and I will honor her by always LIVING. Your friend always, Shuey." - Jeff S.
"For me, there is a wide array of feelings that have accompanied the death of my dear friend Sue. I believe it is because she made it crystal clear to me and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her, that she did everything on her own terms, including when she would leave this earthly plane. Her diagnosis and treatment were no exception. I believe she was the first person I ever heard say “If you are not happy with your doctor, FIRE THEM!!!” What an outstanding concept. Sue decided when she needed to change her course of treatment, whether it was drug or surgery related, and when it was time to take her breaks. She truly was the leader of her medical team. More than a moderator, Sue inspired and encouraged so many people with her conversations on self advocacy. I will always laugh when I think of Sue calling drug companies, clinical trial and cancer centers as a “researcher” so that she could get all the possible information to decide whether or not she should be on that drug. Not only did she help herself, she helped so many others in the process. Sue touched my life in a profound way. I am so grateful that I got to spend time with her at more than one Colon Cancer Alliance conference. We spent a great deal of time together laughing and joking, but we also took time to discuss our philosophical beliefs. She often reminded me that she believed I was genuinely a Buddhist. Sue led an awesome meditation at the last conference that we attended together. She was always making herself available to help others. I will cherish my memories of her. Sue made the world a better place, and I am a better person for having known her. So I will celebrate the life of my dear friend Sue, but rest assured, it is an understatement to say that I will miss her more than words can say. It has been an honor and a privilege to know and love Sue Nill Kidera. There is no doubt in my mind that Sue left this world the way she lived her life; on her own terms. I believe Sue is flying high, completely free from all pain and sorrow and truly at peace. As Sue would remind us, there is no loss only transition. So today I will celebrate Sue’s life and friendship; She would not have had it any other way." - Laura C.
"The internet has been a vehicle for us to overcome the barrier of distance to find friendship and support. That’s how I met Sue. The online chat community was my support system when I was first diagnosed five years ago. Sue was always there for those who needed information or support. She was one of the first people I turned to when I learned I would be undergoing SBRT treatment. I admired her love of life, including her passion for rowing and her love of the New York Mets. Sue was never one to follow the crowd. She frowned upon the use of words like “battle” and “fight” as it related to her disease as these insinuated that there are “winners” and “losers.” In Sue’s eyes, we were all winners. Sue had a big heart and her passing leaves a void in ours." - Lee Silverstein, creator of the Colon Cancer Podcast
"Sue taught me so many things including managing and living with this disease. What I will remember most is the HOPE she gave to so many and how important it was to have HOPE. She coined the phrase “you can’t cure me NOW,” knowing if she could continue to live WITH her disease, a new option would be come available to her - and they did. Sue did two podcasts for the Colon Cancer Alliance. When I miss her voice, I will listen to those. I am forever changed for the good having my path cross with Sue’s, and I will miss her every day." - Jeannie Moore, Colon Cancer Alliance Co-Founder, Patient Support Navigator & Community Manager
You will never be forgotten, Sue. 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.