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Rose Marie Wortman's Story
By Michelle Keller – Daughter
I am the captain of Team Rosie’s Buds. I got involved with Hope for Heather after my mother, Rose Marie Wortman, was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in the spring of 2014 at the age of 67. She had been to her primary care physician many times with “too many” symptoms for them to deal with at a time, which I feel contributed to the late diagnosis. I know that there is no simple screening for ovarian cancer like there is for other cancers, but perhaps if the doctor had spent just a little more time investigating all of the symptoms, instead of telling her that they can only deal with a few at each visit, the cancer would have been diagnosed earlier. We will never know.
Despite all the doctor appointments, chemotherapy, (which she traveled to Rochester for, with her brothers who always insisted on going) and side effects of treatment, my mom was so strong, stayed positive, and fought with all her might. She was told in November 2015 that the treatments were not really helping any longer, and she decided to make the best of the time she had left on this earth.
I would love to say that we made that trip to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville that she always talked about, but there just were not enough days that she was feeling very well. As a family, we all gathered and spent one last Thanksgiving together, celebrated her 69th birthday, and spent one last Christmas together. My mom earned her angel wings on January 29, 2016. My mom was my first best friend, and I miss her with all my heart. If there is anything that we can do to try and find early detection or, better yet, a cure for this, I am going to do what I can so that no other family has to go through what my mom did.
Thank you: Thank you to Freida and Gary for being the voice for those of us that need it. Heather would be so proud of how you have made the best of her situation and continue to provide help and hope to others. -Michelle Keller