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    In honor of my friend Susan

    February 6, 2012

    This is how I will always remember you. Riding on the scariest rope swing in the history of the world. You were not afraid. You were excited. And when you did it, you were empowered.

    Today I contributed to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with a comment that I wanted 100% of my contribution to go to RESEARCH. Because that’s the foundation that you researched, that held the values you held and that Curt designated.

    Today I contributed to the Cancer Card Xchange, a non-profit organization that donates gift cards to cancer patients all across the country. Because 100% of my donation goes directly to someone with cancer who could use a new pair of shoes or would like some apps to pass the time sitting in the big green chair getting chemo. Because while a gift card won’t make cancer disappear, it might cheer someone up on a really low day.

    Today I contributed to Prevent Cancer Foundation because they are a local foundation active in researching breast cancer and help fund the Mammovan. The Mammovan is a mobile mammography unit that provides free screenings to women in DC and suburban Maryland and Virginia community centers, clinicas and churches. Because mammograms are important.

    Today I didn’t yell at my kids once. I can hear you saying, “I’m so proud of you, Kristen.” It makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

    You were the strongest person I have ever met in my entire life, Susan Niebur. You were strong in life and strong in death. You were always asking questions and now every single one of your questions has been answered. Thank you for letting me be a part of your amazing life. Now go walk those streets of gold with your grandma, girl. Free of fear, free of pain and free of that shitty cancer. We’ll make sure that every moment of your struggle was not in vain. I promise.

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    1. Manic Mommy says:

      Sending hugs and tears to *you* my friend. Love Susan’s picture and her joy.

      Thank you for posting those organizations, especially at this time when so many seem to have lost their way.



      February 6th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    2. Jeannine says:

      This is so beautiful! I’ve always loved that photo of Susan. And your words — just so beautiful. Love you.

      February 6th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    3. Dawn says:

      You just made me do the ugly cry.

      February 6th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    4. Julie Marsh says:

      I love that picture. Going to hold it in my mind and my heart.

      February 6th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    5. Lucretia says:

      That picture totally embodies Susan’s everyday spirit. We lost one of the good ones today.

      February 6th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    6. Emily says:


      February 6th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    7. amy turn sharp says:

      sending love to you too today- our friends are parts of our soul. she was a rare one. I am so sad today. xo thanks for sharing this.

      February 6th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    8. Lib says:

      Astoundingly beautiful.
      Ccx founded by my blog partner:: thank you!!
      Blessings as you grieve

      February 6th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    9. Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I know she was a big part of your life and a precious friend. I, too, will be making donations in her memory.

      February 6th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    10. Marty says:

      I love this and I love you.

      February 6th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    11. Amie aka MammaLoves says:

      Oh Kristen! I don’t even know…the words are missing right now.

      We were so lucky to have her in our lives.

      LOVE YOU!!!

      February 6th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    12. elz says:

      What a great way to tribute one of the strongest people I ever “met,” even though I never actually met Susan.

      February 6th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    13. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama says:

      Sending you huge hugs tonight for a great loss of a wonderful friend. Your words are so beautiful. I hope that place not only has streets paved with gold but also rainbows and unicorns. Lots of them. Just for Susan. xo

      February 6th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    14. Vicky says:

      So beautiful Kristen. You captured Susan perfectly. Every time I looked at my kids last night I hugged them and thought of Susan. I did the whole non-yelling thing too.

      February 7th, 2012 at 3:55 am

    15. Nicole says:

      Thinking of you. As you said, she’s out of pain now. That thought won’t always soothe those left behind, but eventually the tears stop and you start to laugh again remembering. Here’s to the laughter.

      February 7th, 2012 at 6:15 am

    16. Varda (SquashedMom) says:

      I love that picture of Susan. I wish I had had more time with her. I wish we all had. Shitty, shitty cancer. Thank you for these beautiful words.

      February 7th, 2012 at 7:43 am

    17. Remembering Susan ‹ Suburban Turmoil says:

      […] you’d like to contribute to the fight against IBC, Kristen Hammond has written a very moving post on just how to go about […]

      February 7th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    18. Dawn says:

      I want to thank you, also, for posting the links that SUSAN approved of. She was a truly amazing person, amazing friend.

      February 7th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    19. babybrewing says:

      Susan approved of donations to IBCRF and the two organizations below those were my choices. While I would never speak for Susan, I’d like to think she wouldn’t disapprove of those. 🙂

      February 7th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    20. kate says:

      thank you for all the links. having never met her personally, my heart broke for her and her family since i was introduced to her blog. but as you said, she is now free of pain and fear. I keep telling myself that as I snuggle with the family to the point of annoyance. I am off to donate to RESEARCH!!!
      love to all

      February 7th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    21. Alice Rudin says:

      I only knew of Susan after she began chemo this last time. I could tell she was a special and unique person and I was hoping and praying she would overcome cancer. I’m sorry for your lose and her families lose. Thank you for posting the links to the charities. You honor your friend.

      February 7th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    22. Finding Beauty in Haiti | Ciao Mom says:

      […] so many tributes written, by so many beautiful voices. Voices like Teach Mama,  Jessica, Stimey,  Mommy Needs a Cocktail, and Marty.  There are more. So many more. Beautiful memories, words, reminders of the impact that […]

      February 7th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    23. Ananda Leeke says:

      Thank you for such a wonderful post with resources on where I can donate in honor of Susan and other women with breast cancer. I am with you on the RESEARCH part. Blessings, Ananda

      PS: I found your blog from a link on Justice Fergie’s page.

      February 8th, 2012 at 9:04 am

    24. Stimey says:

      So much love to you.

      February 9th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    25. Stephanie @DialMforMinky says:

      That picture is now my favorite picture of Susan ever! I think you are amazing.

      February 9th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    26. Deann says:

      This is fantastic. And definitely how I would want to be remembered. <3

      December 17th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    27. Stephanie says:

      I followed Susan’s story and was also impacted by her life and by her passing. Awesome picture and what a fantastic way to remember her. And, by the way, Cancer Card Exchange is local to me and is one of my favorite charities because ALL donations go straight to people with cancer. I know Susan would like that idea too.

      February 7th, 2013 at 8:54 am

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