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A continuing presence
I just returned from the memorial service for Anita Lobel, one of our founders. Anita and her husband Leon helped establish CBTF in the wake of their granddaughter, Ilana, being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Leon served as our first President, and Anita and Leon hosted the organization's first meetings. Ilana's parents, Linda and Dennis, and her aunt, Wendy, were also actively invovled.
I heard at the memorial service that a person continues to live, even after passing, in the lives of the people they leave behind. CBTF is, in truth, a living legacy to Anita, Leon, and Ilana as well as to all the other children and parents whose involvement makes possible our work today.
Death and debilitating disease are always terrible. Children's brain and spinal cord tumors, whatever the outcome, are the most inexplicable of sorrows faced by children and families. For me, the only way to make meaning of them is to know that the memory of the struggles we faced together as well as of those we lost live on in the work we do for others.