Hi. My name is Shauna and I joined the Runway community 2 years ago. I danced in honor of
my sister Carly Caswell who passed away from Breast Cancer in 2011.
My public speaking is equivalent to my dance moves so I will keep this short but I did want to
say a few words.
Carly grew up here. She graduated from Newburyport High School. Many of you tonight knew
her but for those who didn’t I would like you to remember her name. Carly was a kind and
thoughtful friend. A caring wife. A loving daughter. A guiding and protective sister. She was
many different things to many different people. But her most cherished title was mom. It was
what she always wanted to be.
Carly had the BRCA 1 gene and was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30. She underwent
chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. She was young, overall healthy and had a team of
experts. We were all very hopeful and a year later she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby
boy. It was the light we were all waiting for. But soon after the cancer came back. Stronger this
time. Calry passed away at age 32. My nephew was 6 months old.
Grieving while raising a baby is an impossible task. I look back and I don’t know how my brother
in law managed to do it. He is the strongest person I have ever met. Even with an army of
support from family, friends, neighbors it was difficult to say the least. Today my nephew is
thriving. I mention his name and I am instantly smiling.. He is a passionate hockey player. A
hard working student. A good friend. Jay and Elyse did an amazing job and I know my sister
would be very proud.
I wanted to join Runway to honor my sister but to also shine light on families struggling with
similar situations. No offense to you fathers, but mothers do a lot! When a family loses a mom,
they not only need financial help but resources and support. Runway steps in to provide
daycare, transportation, counseling, camp tuition, house cleaning and the list goes on. It’s little
stuff that makes a positive impact in the lives of children. To help them continue on with the
same life as before the diagnosis, the illness, and the loss. Today, we can’t cure the disease but
we can help bring some happiness to those going through it.
I’ll finish with the fact that Carly would have loved this event. She loved all things food, wine,
friends and family. She would have wanted everyone to help each other. To support those in
need but also take care of themselves. Trust your instincts and if you have a family history,
pursue it. Do the research. Be your best advocate.
Thank you again for coming out tonight. I am so grateful for all your love and support. Thank