The Fiedler family has established this Everribbon page to share more of Teresa's story, to provide a place to leave your supportive comments, and if you choose, to help financially. The funds will go toward her relocation to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for treatment and to help cover her many medical bills associated with treatment and recovery following her planned surgery later this winter.
We all have that special someone in our lives that we strive to be like. A person that possesses the qualities of a superhero. You see, I was raised by the most wonderful mother anyone could ask for. A lady that could light up your day with just a few words no matter what you were going through. The most strong-willed, driven, selfless person I have ever known.
As a young boy, my family was devastated with the death of my father. My mother had been thrust into a situation that would break even the strongest person. She would now tackle the daunting task of raising three sons and a daughter with only a high school education. Knowing there would be no other way our family would survive; our mother put upon her shoulders the weight of mourning her husbands’ death, the emotions of her grief stricken children and went back to school. Between college, work, and raising a family, I can’t even begin to fathom the thought of facing such an insurmountable task. I would probably compare it to standing at the base of Mt. Everest in shorts and sandals knowing that I somehow had to reach the peak. How would I make it? The shear fear would cripple the average person. Not my Mom. She would not sit at basecamp and wait for the storm to break. She hadn’t the time. She heaved her heavy pack onto her back and started the treacherous climb and never looked back.
I’m sure there were a lot of nights she cried herself to sleep wondering how she would ever get through this. But she never faltered in her children’s eyes. Never once growing up can I ever remember my mother showing signs of being overwhelmed, hopeless or feeling beaten. Even in the midst of such a horrible tragedy. In fact, it wasn’t until I was much older that I truly understood the trials and tribulations she withstood and amazing feat she had accomplished, meanwhile being our rock to run to.
Without fail she climbed to the top of that mountain. Not only did she get to the peak, she stood atop with a Master’s degree and a tight-knit family chain not even a torch could burn through. She had brought up her children with strong family values, morals and a work ethic that would never quit. She had overcome a barrage of obstacles and accomplished her mission.
At 44 years old her heart of gold, the heart that took her to the top of those slippery peaks with her family on her back, began to weaken. In her eyes that were always so focused on the goal ahead, my mother looked at this as a minor speed-bump. After a sextuple bypass surgery, I remember seeing her in the ICU recovering. This was the first time in my life I had ever seen my mother looked scared. It broke my heart. I wondered how we’d get through this. Within days she was back to her “never give up” self. Her strength impressed all that came into contact with her. While recovering, her concerns were not with herself, but how her family was coping with the situation. “Mom, for once in your life, let us be concerned with YOU!” I thought. There’s no changing her priorities. Again, without fail she climbed back to the top of the mountain. She regained her strength and did not lose her determination to never let anything knock her down.
Now at 52 years old she has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. We all now know this will be another minor speed-bump in her road of life. After she told her family of the diagnosis, she was only concerning herself with how we were handling it. I’m amazed at how any human could be so selfless in a traumatic time such as a cancer diagnosis. But I should have never expected less from her. Every time I talk to her, I almost forget about what she is going through. Her voice is so positive and cheerful; her outlook is so genuinely confident and encouraging. I thank God every day that He has blessed me with such an amazing person in my life.
She is now ready to begin another journey as she prepares to begin the treatment process. This will be yet another chapter in her Book of Life. Although this may not be the happiest of chapters, we all patiently await the next as we know this is not the final one. We ask that everyone keep her in your thoughts and prayers and rejoice in knowing there are people such as her in this world we live in.
Mom, there is no doubt in our minds that you will make it through this. We’ll be your shoulder to lean on, your family to cry with, and your companions to celebrate with after you beat this thing. Never forget how strong you are and what you are able to accomplish. We Love You.