Earlier this year we lost an exceptional smile and friend in Ambassador Caroline. Her uncle Dave Lugar describes her bright spirit, her “daily zest to look her best,” and how he’s committed to fight childhood cancers in her honor.On January 4, 2014, we learned that our then-11-year-old niece, Caroline Richards, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a somewhat rare form of bone cancer that typically impacts children and adolescents. We of course put on our brave faces, did our research, and encouraged Caroline and her parents with everything we had. We were in this together and we were there to help.
Caroline was a wonderful young warrior who fought through the chemotherapy treatments, the surgeries, the late night emergency room visits when her cell counts were low. She also became an ambassador for this community of young children who are currently dealing with cancer and for future children that will be diagnosed.
Caroline loved to stand out from the crowd, and her smile was enough to brighten anyone’s day.
Her smile, attitude and determination to be a survivor were an inspiration to everyone who got to know her.
I mention this background because we cannot let all of the positive things that Caroline did throughout her life and her battle be forgotten.
Dave and his wife, Katherine, embrace after his shave.
From diagnosis through Caroline’s passing, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation was an incredible resource and support system for Caroline, her parents, her extended family and all who dearly loved her. Each year in honor of these young warriors, St. Baldrick’s raises money for research through their head-shaving events. Unfortunately I could not make my local St. Baldrick’s event, so I decided to brave the shave as a virtual shavee, at my home, surrounded by Caroline’s family and friends.
Dave smiles for the camera before his shave.
This is why I shaved my head. I’m doing my part so one day, no other families will suffer the loss of a treasure like Sweet Caroline.
Dave is raising money for childhood cancer research. Honor Caroline with a donation on his shavee page.
Read more on the St. Baldrick’s blog: