April 21, 1964 to October 30, 2022
I met Toni several years ago as a participant in the Sheboygan County YMCA’s LIVESTRONG at the Y program and, eventually, as a participant in various Survive, Thrive & Be Fit activities. In her quiet, gentle, but inspiring and influential manner, she set an excellent example for other cancer patients/survivors to live a healthy and active life following a cancer diagnosis! She did what she and so many of us believe is “the right thing” to do and yet the disease took her life way too soon.
A few days after her passing Toni’s husband Jeff contacted me to explain that Toni had requested donations in lieu of flowers to one of several of her preferred organizations that included SCCCF. As her obituary read, “A special ‘Thank You’ to the caring staff at Sharon S. Richardson for their warmhearted phenomenal care, the heartfelt support of Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund, and Livestrong at the Sheboygan YMCA.”
Toni had a special impact on many area survivors, especially the LIVESTRONG at the Y participants and Survive, Thrive & Be Fit survivor-athletes including Kathy Burch (breast cancer survivor) who expressed her feelings this way:
You know how they say someone comes into your life for a reason. Toni came into my life through Livestrong when I was helping their group. We just clicked. Walking partners, workouts, dinners, phone calls, and texts messages made our friendship thrive.
Toni was a person who didn't know the word give up. Toni always saw a glimmery of hope, blessing, and love in all that she did. Her positive attitude came through as she helped others to make sure all their needs were met first. Toni made people believe in themselves and what they were capable of doing and going beyond. Even as the time came closer for Toni to leave us, she continues to take care of the needs of others. Thank you, Toni for being the person who came into my life. You are the greatest gift of life-friendship-and I have received it. You will always be with me!
Toni, and all those that have lost their life to this dreadful disease, remind the rest of us how fortunate we are to be alive! And we owe it not only to them and their loved ones, but to ourselves, to live well... live responsibly... live gratefully... and live fully. And, for many of the survivor-athletes that I am privileged to work with... a part of that (a significant part of that) involves moving our bodies in healthy and life-affirming ways with the hope to see more tomorrows and get the most out of every today.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the many others whom we lost during 2022 (or before) whose lives were honored through a memorial donation to SCCCF in 2022:
Anne Clarke, Victor Erickson, John Friedl, Marilyn Hanke, Lori Jo Isakson, Eugene King, Dan Lensink, Ken Liebergan, Toni Meyer, Bette Mikalowski, Diane Milz, Randy Milz, Lee Pattison, David Picard, Joan Rivera, Eugene Sebald, Kathleen Struve, Evelyn Wessel, and Peggy Wilcox.