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Date Posted:10/29/2010 5:39:49 PM
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20 Years Ago / Losing My Mother
By: Ronda Biffert

Thursday, October 21, of this last week was the 20th anniversary of my mother's passing. She died in 1990, at the age of 48, of lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer. She was a non-smoker. She was diagnosed on May 26th and was gone by October 21st. It was a quick but grueling battle.

It's believed the cancer started in her lungs, then fast-growing tumors appeared in her bronchial tubes. A few months later the cancer spread to the liver and pancreas, and within 3 weeks from that time she was gone. I was 21 years old.

All the work I have done in the field of health is because of my experience with cancer. Everyday people are being diagnosed and dying -- every minute. They say 1 out of 2 people will get cancer. We never thought it would hit our family, but it did.

Science has come a long way in the knowledge of prevention, but, in my opinion, not far enough in curing this terrible disease. But let's focus on the positive. What do we know? Scientists tell us if we eat 7-14 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, we can reduce our chances of disease by 70-80%. We know now good water, exercise, rest, reducing stress, and having healthy emotions play a big part in living healthy, too.

Back in the 70's and 80's we just didn't talk about health like we do now, and I am quite certain my mother would be alive today if we would have known and practiced these healthy principals. All in all, I do believe that God works all things out for good and I can say I feel completely healed from the trauma of her passing. My work, who I am now as a person, and everything I do, every health article I write, goes back to that day when I lost her.

As a tribute to my mother this week I would like to share part of her memorial from October 21, 1990. I know she rests in peace.

"Shirley Ann Flemmer was born June 26, 1942 in Golden Valley, North Dakota. There she was raised and educated and graduated in 1960. She married Norman Biffert, from Halliday, N.D., on June 19, 1964 and they ran a dairy, beef, and wheat farm, in which she took a very active role. She was the treasurer at her church and directed numerous church Christmas and Easter plays along with many children's programs. Her other hobbies included gardening and baking German ethnic foods. She juggled it all and was one of the hardest working ladies around. In spite of her work load, she always had coffee and German pastries ready for anyone who popped in. She is survived by her husband Norman, daughters Ronda and Rita, and her 3 granddaughters, who she has never met, Kristen,18, Rachel,15, and Maria, 4. We love and miss her very much."

Tell your family and friends this week you love them and encourage each other in living a healthy lifestyle, because when you lose someone it can affect many people's lives. Now is the time to start living healthy - inside and out!

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