MFD Memorial Page in Memory of our fallen participants
In Memory of Daddy Joe Newell
Lost 2014, never forgotten
Daddy Joe's spirit for the MFD event was infectious and embodied all of what we strived and hoped to achieve with the spirit award. Thank you for showing us all how to live life to the fullest!
In Memory of Paula Smart
Lost 2015, never forgotten
Letter written for Paula by her friends presented with donation made in her honor:
First, I’d like to give a brief overview of how MFD started for some of us.
2011 was the first year that the Maine gals rode to MFD. Some of you may remember us best for the “boob hats” that we wore that first year. Not only did Paula Smart come up with the idea, she found someone to crochet the entire order for us. She also created the idea for a t-shirt that we now refer to as the “boobie hands” t-shirt. That year we shared the spirit award with Elvis. We left at the end of that weekend having made more friends and a deeper understanding of what it meant to raise awareness for fundraising events such as MFD!
In 2012, our second year, we came with another t-shirt which we classified as the “Teacups T-shirt.” The message was loud and clear “keep your lumps out of our cups.”
In 2013, our third year saw some of the gals sporting their bikes with pink/teal noodles in the shape of the cancer ribbon. Riding from Maine the crew got their fair share of looks and I’m sure some were wondering how a group of mostly female riders would ride around sporting noodles on their bikes in May no less. No we weren’t racing for a swim at the beach, but perhaps racing for a cure at a great fundraising event.
Unfortunately, in December of 2014 Paula first found out she had colon and liver cancer. I remember the phone call that evening as though it were today. She wanted to read to me what she planned to post on her Facebook page for all to see. She wanted to let everyone know and yet not leave anyone out. She read to me what she had written and planned to post. She had me in tears with her words, to which she replied “hey, don’t be sad, don’t cry because I haven’t cried yet.” My tears quickly turned to laughter when Paula said to me and I’m going to eat cake and drink beer no matter what anyone says. Other things she would say to all of us “I’m one cancer away from my ideal weight.” But the most important message she delivered, in my humble opinion, was: “If not now, when?” She truly believed in living her life her way and not making excuses to anyone for how she did it. She taught me to live life and let the rest of it go.
Unfortunately in 2014, we took our vehicles for the ride in. The forecast, which we now know is never accurate and when it says 60% rain we can assume it really means 40% sun). However, having said that, in August of 2013, Paula Smart had a serious motorcycle accident which almost took her leg. She found herself battling 6-7 months of recovery and would need to take her vehicle for the 2014 MFD event, but she was bound and determined to go. In some small way I think we felt that by going in our vehicles we were supporting her. We found other ways to keep ourselves busy that weekend but all the while feeling bummed that we didn’t have our bikes to support the ride. Even though Paula was unable to ride her motorcycle that year due to her physical limitations, she still volunteered that day helping to run the Yahtzee game. It was after the banquet meal that Paula Smart and Kim Carll started brainstorming for next year’s ride. I, myself, first heard of it Sunday morning in the condo. Paula Smart said to me “hey Glo guess what…we have an idea for next year’s ride…” I said “really and what is it?” To which Paula replied “we’re thinking of having shirts made up and selling space for names of folks who have battled cancer and it can be for survivors as well.” My first response that day was “really that’s a great idea I have “a” name I could put on the shirt. She said “yeah I bet we all do.” Little did we know how this idea would come to fruition! Little did I realize that my 1 name would suddenly turn into 4 names.
In 2015 due to unforeseen circumstances, coupled with a change in the MFD date, most of us weren’t able to make the event. In August of 2015 Paula Smart took her last motorcycle ride with Kim, Cheryl Berry and myself. A ride that we annually take in August best known as Kimmie’s Ride. She wanted to go to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and so given what she had been through we accompanied her there. She never showed any signs of sickness or led you to believe there was anything wrong. We laughed hard, played hard and watched a very dear friend enjoy life in the only way she knew how by making all of us laugh. Paula had a passion for life!
2016. I’m sad to say that on December 5, 2015, at the age of 46, Paula Smart left us physically. Some of you are probably wondering why we’re sporting so much Superman clothing. I needed to do a little research on that myself because her room during her fight with cancer was filled with so much Superman stuff, I was sure there had to be a story that I wasn’t aware of. So I reached out to one of her best friends, Lisa Simmons, and here’s what she told me: Paula was out to dinner with a bunch of folks when there was a young child that had a cape on so Paula wanted one and someone got her a trash bag and she wore it for dinner that night. She had it on her profile picture for a while and would go back to it when she needed to feel strong. Whenever Lisa and Paula would go shopping Paula would look at the Superman shirts and items. When Paula went in for her surgery to have the mass removed (unfortunately they weren’t able to remove it) Lisa ordered her a superman cape so Paula would have something to cover her butt when she would walk in the halls. Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive until after she got home but Lisa gave it to her anyway. So when Paula went into Hospice that is when Lisa brought it in for her. And then everyone started bringing in Superman stuff. Paula found comfort in Superman’s quotes about power and courage. It takes courage to fight this battle!
So with that, I end by say Paula has left us physically, but she has not left us spiritually. We all carry her with us in some way. And finally here we are in 2016 sporting the idea Paula and Kim created in 2014. Wendy Harris, who herself is a survivor and who most of you know and/or have seen here, and hails from the Massachuetts group, donated a quilt to be raffled, on Paula’s behalf netting $400 for the cause. I just want to say that Kim Carll needs to be recognized for her total commitment to making the sweatshirt, decals and t-shirts sell like crazy! The Paula Strong Decals, Sweatshirts and t-shirt sales, which were designed by another friend Paula Kosluck who owns her own studio Strait Run Graphics, netted about $900 and finally MFD shirts with the names of survivors and those that did not survive, at a cost of $10 for each person’s name and $25 to buy the t-shirt, designed by another dear friend of Paula’s- Bryan Stearns from ImagePro Screen-printing, which resulted in a net profit of $2,500. I’m proud to say that while Paula may not be here with us physically, we are ever mindful of the fact that she is here in spirit and with that please accept the amount of $3600 on behalf of this entire group who helped spread the word and upped the ante! I challenge each and every one of you here tonight to up your ante and help fight this dreadful disease, and finally as Paula would say “I’lldrink to that!