The Colleen DeCrane Family Foundation was created to assist people who are seriously ill in finding the resources they need to meet their needs and the needs of their families. The purpose of this letter is to share with you a little bit about Colleen DeCrane, in hopes that you will gain more understanding about the foundation's goals and aspirations.
It would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible to capture Colleen's enormous spirit in one, short letter. We can try.
Colleen was the kind of person who always wore a smile. Sometimes a mere smile was not enough and she would have to break into a spontaneous "happy dance." Her happiness was contagious and impossible to resist. She shared it with everyone.
Family and friends were the center of her life. Having come from a large family, she thrived on visitors and visiting, a houseful of children (the neighbors as well as her own), and lots of laughter. Colleen was a champion for children's causes throughout her life. Her early career revolved around childhood development and she later worked to rehabilitate troubled teenagers. Colleen had an incredible amount of patience and understanding for young people and she chose to share it with those in need. Her greatest love in life was her own sons; Ryan, now twelve and Keenan, now ten. She was devoted to their happiness and well-being and truly enjoyed her role as "Mama.
When Colleen became ill in 1996, she continued to smile. Instead of becoming discouraged or angry with life, she chose to look for a way to deal with her illness. She took comfort in continuing to care for others. She explored different philosophies to cope with difficult times. One symbol she found especially inspiring was the sea turtle. The turtle is reputed to be a symbol of inner strength and healing.
On February 6, 1999 Colleen DeCrane lost her three year battle with cancer. She died peacefully at home at the age of thirty-three.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to know her will never forget her beautiful smile and we hope to share that smile, as she would have done, with you.
Sincerely and with much thanks,
The Colleen DeCrane Family Foundation