*In Memoriam *
Heather Ray, 41, lost her courageous fight with cancer on February 24, 2010. She had been battling the disease since age 13, when doctors removed her leg at the hip due to bone cancer. She leaves behind the two precious little girls she fought so hard to live for.
Heather touched the lives of everyone she met as she travelled around the country “spinning for the cure” wearing her trademark pink shoe. She raised thousands of dollars for cancer research and challenged athletes. It was at one of those fundraising events in October 2009 that Stan Patterson met Heather. He was immediately struck by her spirit, optimism, and incredible energy! Heather had not been able to wear a prosthesis successfully in the past, but always dreamed of it. “I want to run, run, run!,” she told Stan that day.
Two months later, just before Christmas, Stan flew Heather to POA in Orlando where she took her first steps in over 25 years on the prosthetic leg she affectionately named “Stan.” We’ll always remember her joy at that moment; her beautiful smile lit up her face. Heather took "Stan" home to Cincinnati, determined to perfect her walking technique and then travel back to Orlando to be fit with a running leg. Heather fully intended to enter her first triathlon this spring, and if she had lived, I am certain she would have! She was a champion, a warrior, a loving mother, and an inspiration to us all.
Heather, we are blessed to have met you, and your strength and spirit will not be forgotten.