Tough Weekend

Posted: March 8, 2010 in brittany wilkinson, donna o'brien, umdf
3/8/2010:
I love weekends. They are vital to my sanity. This last one…not so much. Definitely, not one of my lighter memories. First, I’ve been fighting the flu, and succeeding pretty well, until Friday. Hello 101 temp. and super migraine headache to go right along with it. Nice fun day w/covers over my head. (Not really.)

But that was a picnic compared to Saturday. It was the six month anniversary of my death of niece, Brittany — she was only 18. It was also the date that had been set for her annual fund-raising dinner, the fifth one since she began having them. She suffered from Mitochondrial Disease, a cellular disease that was severely debilitating for her. (See www.brittanywilkinson.org or www.umdf.org for more info.)

So my family and I attended her dinner, held in her honor and memory this year, and continued her legacy. It was extremely difficult and sad. It was also very inspirational to be reminded of all that she had accomplished in such a short lifetime: being part of a movement to get a bill introduced into congress for the awareness and research for Mitochondrial Disease, a myriad of proclamations, raised thousands and thousands of dollars for research and awareness, organized dozens of fundraisers, recorded a song, and filled an event center to capacity with friends, loved ones, family, and strangers.

She was so much more than that as well, though that was her main goal. She was a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a grandaughter, a friend, with a special smile and soft touch. She was here too briefly, but she had a story to tell and she told it everyday. She still does…in the heart of everyone who knew her.
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