Thursday, October 23, 2008

In memory of Aurora

This past week we lost a major figure in the HPS community, Aurora (pictured here in the middle). Aurora attended her first HPS conference last year. She did more for the HPS community than I think she ever knew. She was such a source of hope to so many, especially the younger people with HPS. Aurora passed away at 74 years of age.

It's never easy to lose someone, no matter how old they are. But to a community of people that often question whether they'll ever reach retirement age, Aurora's story meant a lot.

Aurora didn't speak English and thus her daughter Fran joined the HPS adults listserv. It's a group typically kept to just those with HPS, but Aurora wanted to know what was going on, and so she participated through Fran. Besides, our family listserv right now is mostly parents and we didn't think Fran would find the kind of support she needed there either.

Fran has been such a great addition to our list sharing stories about her mom, keeping us posted on her progress and offering so many words of wisdom and support to everyone. Now Fran couldn't leave us if she wanted to - and I hope will continue to be the voice of loved ones, as well as of her mother, in the HPS community.

Aurora made one last gift to the HPS community. This week she made a final trip to the NIH. There the doctors will be able to study her to better understand the long-term affects of HPS.

Every time an HPS'er and their family make this decision, I can't help but get emotional about it. They are amazing people to be able to think of all of us in the midst of their own grief and pain.

Aurora was such a fighter. She fought HPS so hard. Now, I'm sure she's at peace at last.

Please pray for Fran and the rest of Aurora's family. We love them all.

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