One young woman can make a big difference

To the Editor:

I am writing today to celebrate a young woman who has become my inspiration and hero…

When one learns that their mother has cancer, one can handle it many ways … sorrow, denial, anger. Emily Rezzarday, a 19-year-old resident of Brookline sought to raise above all the negative feelings she would have been justified to feel and instead became a champion for her ailing parent.

In October 2011, Emily, was a high school junior at the Hollis Brookline High School, when she found out that her mother had been diagnosed with an incurable form of small cell lung cancer.

Instead of sitting back and grieving or feeling sorry for herself, Emily single handily organized Carol’s Walk, a fundraiser in honor of her mother. On a warm, sunny Saturday, last June, more than 100 people gathered in Nickels Field beside Lawrence Barn in Hollis to walk and raise money to research a cure for her mother and other’s like her. Emily contacted the police for permission, planned the route, advertised, got a band, provided food, bracelets and water for all participants.

The walk was a total surprise to Carol, who was brought to the festivities by her husband. Carol even walked the route that day, albeit rather slowly, accompanied by her daughter.

Emily buried her mother recently. Although more than $3,000 was raised, a cure didn’t come in time. But the money will continue to help fund research, and Carol’s spirit will continue in her remarkable daughter.

One person truly can make a difference.