Sometimes, people come into our lives to teach us things. They teach us how to live fully, to love unconditionally, to stand up for our beliefs and for others. And while some may only be with us for a season, they leave an indelible mark on our lives.
Cherie Rineker was one of those people for me. I was fortunate to have met her at the HealtheVoices conference in April. Cherie was a multiple myeloma patient and staunch advocate for the cancer community and patients in general. Hearing her speak was amazing. She had such a bright and vibrant personality. So much energy. So kind and warm in conversation. I treasure the time we spent chatting throughout that weekend.
I’ve followed Cherie’s journey in the six short months since we met and have watched in awe as she faced each step of it with such strength and grace. Life was lived on her own terms and it ended on her terms today with the help of Death with Dignity.
My heart hurts for her children, family, and close friends. I wish them all peace, comfort, and strength during this difficult time. I wish the same for the many friends that she had in the cancer community and the HealtheVoices family.
By bittersweet coincidence, Cherie’s journey ended on my mother’s birthday. That’s significant for me because mom has had her own battle with cancer. And they were same age.
While I’m deeply saddened by the loss of my friend, I’m forever thankful for the life lessons that Cherie has imparted in the short time that I’ve known her. She had a great big heart and did great big things.
Be at peace, my friend.
12/7/67 – 10/23/19