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‘We Became the Children She Could Never Have’

Vernon resident Brit Cava and her cousin were adopted by their aunt during a difficult time. Now, Cava is looking to give back, in her aunt’s name.

This is Brit Cava's Aunt Michele. Cava created a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society and her aunt's needs. Credit: Brit Cava
This is Brit Cava's Aunt Michele. Cava created a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society and her aunt's needs. Credit: Brit Cava

Brit Cava’s aunt Michele has been a beacon of light for her all her life. Selfless, kind and full of joy — she adopted her nieces during a difficult time and gave them a positive, solid upbringing.

Michele had her own struggles in life — serious ones — but that didn’t stop her from helping her family members in their time of need.

“In her early 20s, shortly after losing her mother to lung cancer, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer,” Cava wrote on Vernon Patch. “It was a time of deep sadness and uncertainty. While she beat the cervical cancer, she lost her ability to have children.”

Michele’s siblings were having trouble coping with the loss of their mother and could no longer care for her or her cousin, Cava said. Michele stepped in and Cava and her cousin “became the children she could never have.”

In 2010, cancer touched their lives again. This time, Michele was diagnosed with colon cancer and she underwent an operation and chemotherapy. Last year, she went in for a routine check-up and they found out the cancer had spread to her liver and thyroid.

“Ultimately the doctors gave her very limited time to live without chemo and perhaps some more years with the chemo,” Cava wrote. “I remembered the last time she had chemo and the toll it took on her. But that didn’t stop her. She still had the fight in her and decided to pursue the chemo.”

The chemotherapy seemed to be working and the cancer wasn’t spreading but a few weeks ago, that changed and Cava’s aunt began a new treatment.

Michele’s birthday is coming up in April and Cava’s been thinking about what to give the aunt whose given her so much.

“Birthdays mean a lot more to me and my family now and I want to celebrate another year of living and battling cancer by honoring her in some way,” Cava wrote. “She never wants any ‘gifts’ and she’s so selfless so I had to be a little creative. I’ve decided that I am going to raise money to give to the American Cancer Society in her name and to present to her for her needs.”

Cava created a GoFundMe project to help her raise money. She will provide updates via her “My Aunt Michele” blog and the GoFundMe page. If you know Michele personally, Cava asks that you keep the fundraiser a secret, as she wants to surprise her aunt.

Cava is hoping to raise $500 but if people can’t afford to donate, she’s hoping they will send Michele a birthday wish.

“I want her to have more birthday wishes than she’s ever had in her life,” Cava wrote. “I want her to know there are so many people out there rooting for her and care about her and know her story. And please, share with your friends and family. I choose not to look at it that she’s dying from cancer but that she’s living from all the love and support she has.”

Brit March 31, 2014 at 04:03 PM
Thank you so very much for sharing this. I'm so humbled and thankful for this community.
Jaimie Cura March 31, 2014 at 06:40 PM
You're very welcome, Brit! I'm thinking of you and your aunt!

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