SITS Back to Blogging Challenge - Day 4 - Inspiring Women

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Today's challenge is to write about a woman who has inspired me. This required quite a bit of thinking on my part. Actually, it was more like deciding. I can think of quite a few inspirational women, but I wanted to highlight one who truly had an uphill battle, overcame unthinkable odds, and made a difference in the lives of those she knew as well as those she didn't.

In 2003, while we were visiting friends in Wayne, Pennsylvania for Halloween, we stopped by their neighbors' house to trick-or-treat. We popped in and out. Met Kelly and Sean Rooney and a few of their children.

It wasn't until last year, that I really understood who Kelly Rooney was and how important her legacy is. On July 11, 2006 Kelly lost her courageous, four-year battle with breast cancer, She was 43. During their 15 year marriage, Kelly and Sean became parents to Casey, Molly, Haley, Quinn and Jack, creating a dynamic and incredible family.

What I find most amazing about Kelly is that even during the most critical days of her intimate and personal battle with breast cancer, Kelly’s number one priority was not herself – but her children. Kelly was relentless in her pursuit of understanding how she could prevent her four daughters, Casey, Molly, Haley and Quinn, from ever facing the dreadful disease. I am most certain that I'd wallow in self-pity, trying to answer the question, "Why me?" But not Kelly. She fought. Hard.

After her death, the Kelly Rooney Foundation was formed to continue Kelly’s pursuit and to realize the dream of a generation of women fully empowered with the knowledge and ability to prevent breast cancer. She is still fighting and will continue to fight long after her battle with breast cancer ended.

This excerpt was taken directly from The Kelly Rooney Foundation Web site:
"Known for her outpouring of love as a mother and wife; her loyalty as a daughter, niece, cousin, sister or aunt; and her hospitality as a neighbor or friend, Kelly Rooney served an incredible role model for living life with charisma, joy, optimism, positive energy, generosity, humor, grace and most importantly, persistence and determination."

Although I had met Kelly only once and very briefly, I have heard our dear friends John and Rose talk about her. Their words kind and loving. She was a good person, plain and simple, who loved her family and friends with all of her heart. To be robbed of such a person seems criminal to me. To battle this disease for 4 years with courage, determination, and grace is truly inspiring. Four years is an incredibly long time. Four years of radiation and chemotherapy treatments and all the side effects. And all the while, her family remained her number one priority.

Kelly, Sean, and their children in happier times.

Sean with his children at The Kelly Rooney Foundation Fourth Annual Golf Outing and Auction.

Thanks to SITS and the generous sponsors of the B2B Challenge, Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Visit The Kelly Rooney Foundation Web site for more information, including upcoming events and support and contact information.


Unknown said...

It's always amazing to learn about the number of foundations that are set up to find a cure... one year, very soon, there will be a cure and children such as Kelly's won't have to grow up without a mom.


Sheila said...

It's so true, Julie. I can't wait to see the day when there's a cure.