A couple of months ago I received a kind note from Stacy Clark telling me about her best friend Andrea who was bravely fighting liver cancer. Stacy was broken hearted as she had just received the news that Andrea’s cancer had spread to her lungs. Stacy asked if I had any advice for her as a friend and if I could share any words with Andrea on her Facebook update page.
Jeff and I joined her update page and committed to praying for Andrea and her family. Andrea’s love for her family was evident from the start. Andrea loved her husband Dave and her two young sons, Gino and Rocco.
What struck Jeff and I was Andrea’s fervent desire to be released from the hospital to go on a cancer free weekend getaway with Dave where no talk about cancer or it’s side effects was allowed to be discussed.
Jeff called me at work and said, “Andrea got out of the hospital, she and Dave on on their way for their weekend!” We were so hopeful and celebrated with them that morning in spirit.
Unfortunately, Andrea disease progressed quickly and she lost her battle with cancer shortly after their special weekend on June 6th. In staying in touch with Stacy, I knew that Dave and the boys were planning on taking a much needed trip to Disney World as a promised gift from a cancer foundation. The day after Andrea was buried, the family was trying to celebrate the 3rd birthday of one of their sons when they received a call from the foundation. The foundation informed them that they could not follow through with the promised trip to Disney World because Andrea had died.
Now Dave is trying to learn how to live life without his best friend.
Dave is trying to learn how to parent two young boys without their mother, who treasured them with all of her soul.
Dave is trying to learn how to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Dave is just trying to breathe.
And that my friends is the reality of cancer.
As a woman, a wife, a mom, a nurse, and as a cancer survivor, this reality angers and saddens me to the very core of my being.
So in honor of Andrea here is part of her story… list style. She was a huge fan of lists and I have this tug at my heart knowing that she would have loved this.
Andrea Erin Costa
September 13, 1977 to June 6, 2012
- Born in Port Huron, Michigan to parents Daniel and Sara
- Loved being around her family and friends and never missed a family function
- Life of the party
- Very organized and made lists for everything
- She planned, then planned, and then planned some more
- Shopping was essential and adored
- Known for her contagious laugh and beautiful smile
- Graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
- Worked in Human Resources until complications from Crohns Disease forced her to quit
- Strong and independent, loved to argue her point, and stood her ground
- Got engaged to Dave at Discovery Cove in Florida
- Married her best friend on August 14, 2004 in Detroit, MI
- Loved being a mom and was so unbelievably happy to have her 2 little boys
- Always took pictures
- A loyal friend
- Loved to travel to Florida to visit her mother
- Always made sure she told you that she loved you
- Member of the Peck Parent Teacher Organization in Peck, Michigan
- Attended St. John’s Catholic Church
- Always put everyone first even when she was sick
- Her strength was never more evident than in the last six months of her life
- Died at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan
- Will be fondly remembered always
To Stacy and Dave- Thank you for allowing me to share a small part of Andrea’s story with the world. Though we’ve never met, I will continue to pray fervently for all of you, especially Gino and Rocco. My prayer is that you both never stop telling those boys about how much she loved them and sharing Andrea’s stories with them.
To my friends here at Learn with Jenny – I am a giver by nature and often never ask for help or anything in return. Until now. Our economy is struggling. Organizations and churches that we normally depend upon to send families on special trips and/or assist with tragedies such as with Andrea are unable to help. But it’s not up to them honestly. It’s up to us. So in honor of Andrea, let’s send her family on that trip and possibly help out with bills for cancer and childcare. Andrea’s story is not much different than ours. A mother, a daughter, a wife, a lover of lists and pictures. We can all relate to that, can’t we?
I have set up a Pay Pal account under firstname.lastname@example.org to help those who want to donate.
EDIT: You don’t need to have a Paypal account to donate. You can click send money and enter my email and securely send money with your bank account or a credit card. I don’t use this Paypal account for anything else so there will be no confusing funds. If you would like to send a donation to Dave directly, you can send it to :
3260 Melvin Rd.
Peck, MI 48466
My blogging community is not large, so please share Andrea’s story with your friends and family via word of mouth, facebook, twitter, or airplane sign. I am a big believer in the power of community and that even $5 can help.
Andrea’s story has reminded me once again about the importance of living life intentionally, gratefully, and with a willingness to help one another. I feel as if I have a responsibility to do so.
Blessings sweet friends – JennyTweet