I wasn't living in the states when her husband Chris played football for the Ohio State Buckeyes or even when he played for the NFL. When I came here in 1999 her husband had retired from professional football to become a broadcaster and she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. When she was first diagnosed, her husband left his big money football career for a full year just to be with her. They were high school sweethearts and when she lost her hair to chemotherapy he shaved his head too.
Since 1999 she got cancer 5 times and that would have floored most people I think but she was such an amazing woman. She spearheaded an effort into breast cancer that raised nearly $7 million for research at Ohio State and she was always so graceful and giving and just an amazing mum.
Of course I didn't know her and I hope I don't sound like a lunatic by writing about her like this. I last saw her at the Navy game when I was shocked to see her in a wheel chair because I thought she had beaten it. Obviously she hadn't.
I wanted to honor her somehow and acknowledge her death. I've thought about her all day (it was her memorial today) and especially the family that she leaves behind. The paper said today that they were with her when she died, which just breaks my heart.
I hope I could be half as courageous and positive and noble as her if I faced something like that.