Gratitude, Grace and Grit

I didn’t want to go to the mail this week. Leila’s family said she left something to be mailed to me. Getting whatever she left for me would make it real.

I got it today, opened it and just cried and cried. Her mother wrote me a beautiful note about how Leila cared for me and my well being, that she never gave up hope even at the end, and she always believed research would come up with a breakthrough that would keep her here for fifty more years. Her mom mentioned how devastated Leila would be when another stage four friend would pass away and knew I must feel the same, but that Leila would want me to continue to have hope.

Devastated is an appropriate word for this one.

Her mom’s heart is broken, but is leaning on Leila to stay strong. She signed it off with gratitude, grace and grit.

Like mother, like daughter.

Leila sent me a shirt that made me laugh and cry, and tells the story of another woman who helped others.

There is also a necklace with a key that has one word on it. “Fearless”.

Leila was crafty and made her own stationary. The shirt was wrapped in sparkly tissue paper and a saying..”To my dear friend”. I cried just looking at it.

The shirt said “Badass… never give up mamacita” and her mom Terry put on a post it note that she never did.

Neither will I , my sweet sister friend.

Neither will I .

I love you, Leila ForsytheAlvarez . I will continue in this arena for you, for Alycia Ronnenberg whose passing you helped me through, for me, for our children, and for all the other women who came before us and will come after us….and hopefully have the gratitude, grace and grit you taught me.

Fearless and full of hope and love for you… always.



#stagefourneedsmore #faithoverfearheal @metavivor @metuporg

I’m attaching a link for a gofundme for her son milo. Leila was a force raising awareness for children with Downs Syndrome, and one of her final requests was for little Milo to have an education fund established for special education services he would need.

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