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.
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.
THANK YOU AND LIVESTRONG, JERE!