In Memory of Jere


Jere Carpentier…
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Daughter, Friend, LIVESTRONG Leader, Cancer Warrior

As I read the messages honoring Jere’s life there is one common theme, “Thank you for teaching me so much, Jere”. She was passionate in her work with LIVESTRONG– doing advocacy work in Washington D.C. and in CA, working on the Local Organizing Committee for the LIVESTRONG Challenge series in San Jose for 3 years, LIVESTRONG Day presentations at her Grandson Darren’s middle school or a booth at the Farmer’s Market, LIVESTRONG outreach events to educate and share resources about LIVESTRONG within her community. When you worked an event or project with Jere, you immediately took on her enthusiastic, positive attitude.

When the LIVESTRONG Challenge came to San Jose, Jere volunteered to coordinate the Pedicab ride. This was close to her heart because she knew first hand what the “pedicab kids” were going through. She made every part of their weekend a “superstar” moment. Poster booth to create a special poster for their “ride”, yellow balloons, leis, their own Pedicab Kids t’shirts, a yellow rose presented to each of them, by Jere, as they crossed the Finish Line. It was a weekend of smiles and fun for the kids and their families. I think this might have been one of Jere’s greatest LIVESTRONG moments.

LIVESTRONG Challenge San Jose 2010

Jere had a profound affect on me as our friendship grew over the years. We met in 2006 at the first LIVESTRONG Summit. We found a common bond in our commitment to LIVESTRONG, a sincere gratitude to Lance Armstrong for sharing his story and a fierce desire to fight cancer for the grief it had brought to each of our lives. Grief that was different-mine was the passing of my sister and parents to cancer and Jere’s was her long battle with cancer. May 3, 2011, I accompanied Jere to Sacramento, CA where she testified before the Assembly Health Committee in support of AB1000 which would require insurance to cover oral or IV chemotherapy treatment at equal cost. Jere had been severely impacted by the cost of oral chemotherapy drugs, so she had to resort to IV treatment which required both office and at home treatment. I was so honored to be there to support her as she told her difficult story. I asked her if she was nervous,
she said NO, she was mad and knew this had to change!

And of course, there is her passion for YELLOW-so much yellow! Especially shoes, yellow blingy flip-flops or the highest heels! We love her passion and zest for life each day. She taught us all! Each of us who had the opportunity to work with Jere, be her friend, we know how very fortunate we have been. I will miss my friend, my mentor every day. We will all dearly miss Jere Carpentier, but we will carry on with her passion and fierce determination.

LIVESTRONG Challenge 2009


Linda Santos

LIVESTRONG Challenge San Jose 2010


  1. Shu says:

    Thanks for this Linda, a beautiful tribute to Jere. We will carry on her “Yellow Work” with pride and vigor. She touched so many of us Leaders, and many more besides.
    She set the bar high for us but we will try our very best to make her proud.
    Lots of love to Jere’s family, Shu LIVESTRONG Leader, France.

  2. Marcia Banta says:

    Thank you Linda for saying so well what we all are feeling. We can only hope to live up to her passion and commitment. I feel so grateful to have had her glowing presence as a part of my life.

  3. Reidv says:

    This is such a moving and beautiful tribute to a friend. It really gives me a sense of Jere’s passion and commitment to LIVESTRONG and Cancer survivors. Her love for people and life shine through this lovely post as well. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read these words about Jere and the inspirational way she lived her life. It touched me deeply the reference to her love of yellow as it has stayed with me what she wrote recently about our ” yellow work”, I loved this term so much that I have used it ever since and will continue to do so.

  4. God Bless You, Jere! We continue the march in your name! LiveSTRONG.

  5. Renee Nicholas says:

    Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. We will all continue this fight.

  6. Robert Marraro says:

    Jere is epitome of what we all hope to achieve and attain as we strive to live up to the ideals and spirit embodied by LIVESTRONG. Not to take anything away from any survivor who has gone before her, but I can’t happen to think that someone who has managed her chronic disease for so long and undergone so much in the hopes of being cured is one of the strongest people I know. To have gone though 30+ clinical trials and still have the positive outlook and hope is a shining example for us all. As Lance said at the fund-raising dinner at the Austin LS Challenge, you don’t die from cancer, you just run out of time. And, that, unfortunately is what happened with Jere and many, many others like her around the world. That’s why I’m so upset when I hear our President and other elected leaders comment about how we must end the pandemic of HIV, we can, and we will by making progress on it day by day when although it’s just as important, the war on cancer just seems to be lingering out there. I’m so tired of going to Capitol Hill and listening to the pitiful excuses our leaders give me and our fellow advocates about how they can’t find the money or don’t think it’s important. Talk about misplaced priorities! Jere didn’t have to die. She died because, we, our country and the bureacracy that is our government caused it to happen. Find the money now, get life-saving drugs to people who need them, lift the FDA restrictions that keep scientists and other promising treatments at bay, get the health insurance companies to break the iron fist they have over healthcare, and let’s get done what needs to get done. How many more people will have to die around the world before somebody realizes, enough is enough. Let us not let Jere “have run out of time” in vain. Let’s redouble our efforts and find a cure soon so others’ lives can be spared. That’s what LIVESTRONG means to me and why I fight as hard as I do. Someday, I’ll have to answer to God for what I did in this life, and if I can tell Him that I saved lives by volunteering my time just like Jere did, then that’ll be my happiest moment! Join me, and let’s kick ass in 2012 — for you, your loved ones, all of the survivors and caregivers, and most especially for Jere!

  7. Brendan says:

    Very well said and couldn’t agree more. You’ll be missed Jere.

  8. Joan Venticinque says:

    Linda, thank you for this blog. I spoke with Assemblyman Perea’s office and told them about Jere’s passing. I am going to try and get AB1000 (California’s Chemo parity bill) renamed after Jere. For those who don’t know, Jere went to Sacramento three times to testify to get oral chemotherapy paid for as a medical expense instead of a pharmacy expense. We are hoping the third time is a charm and it gets passed and signed into law this coming year. The Jere Carpentier Oral Chemo Parity Act!

    Jere you gave us a list and we’ll keep fighting.

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