In Memory & Honor

Ann's Hope In Honor & Memory

A part of Ann’s Hope Foundation’s mission is to remember and honor those who have battled melanoma.

If you would like to have your loved one added to our memory page or to honor a survivor, please contact us at 262.305.1370 or send us mail at: Ann’s Hope Foundation
P.O. Box 376
Hartland WI 53029.

2016 Memorials

Gail L. Seefeldt • 3/19/76 – 1/8/15

With Brave Wings She Flies

Joy. Adventure. Friends. Nature. Gail Seefeldt truly lived her thirty-eight years with passion, beauty, spontaneity, and kindness. She treasured her friendships, and she positively impacted the lives of countless people.

Gail was born March 19, 1976 in Marshfield, Wisconsin. After growing up in Wisconsin Rapids, she graduated from Ripon College with a biology degree. Gail’s senior seminar research was grounded in observations she made of the black bears at the Milwaukee County Zoo. During her undergraduate work, she studied killer whales from San Juan Island in Washington and she spent a year working for the New Jersey Audubon Society. She went on to earn her MBA from
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Illinois, and she worked for pharmaceutical companies in the healthcare field.

Gail had a passion for travel, and her adventures took her to destinations such as Costa Rica, Thailand, England, Germany, and the Caribbean. She tackled downhill skiing in Colorado and New York. She loved running, biking and walking for many causes such as Chicago’s Hustle up the Hancock and the Samson Stomp and Romp causing her dresser drawers to overflow with tshirts. Sundays were often spent at the Audubon Nature Center volunteering with the raptor program, and she especially loved working with the owls. When she was not traveling or running, she was working in her community garden, tending to her beehives, enjoying a concert with friends, or spending time with her niece and nephew.

In August 2014 shortly after returning from a trip to Germany, Gail met with her doctor describing unusual fatigue. Given that she was training for her first marathon, it took a lot to slow her down. Along with the increased fatigue, Gail noticed a lump in her breast? a strong advocate of proactive healthcare, she followed up. Shockingly, within weeks, Gail was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma cancer. Her illness was fierce? however, she faced it with amazing strength, courage and dignity. She met each new challenge head on, and she was determined to stay positive and informed.
Meeting with the amazing team at the Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center in Milwaukee, Gail and her doctors developed the attack plan. During her five month battle, she faced an abdominal surgery, radiation, and various drug therapies. There were many good days during her fight, but unfortunately, some setbacks led to a fourteen day stay at Froedtert Hospital before Christmas.

During her time in the hospital, she remained positive even when faced with more negative news. Despite all, she was clear and committed in her desire to be well enough to return home. Thanks to her strength, her family was blessed to have her at home on Christmas Eve. Sadly, after the New Year in 2015, her illness progressed rapidly and began to steal her strength. Inthe early morning of Thursday, January 8th just five months after diagnosis Gail passed away peacefully in her own home with her mom and sister at her side. Through it all, she remained steadfast in her optimism, maintaining her sense of humor and love of life.

It is an honor to support the mission of Ann’s Hope Foundation in raising funds for melanoma research and early detection and prevention efforts. Gail would have joined the run/walk for Ann’s Hope Foundation and challenged her friends and family to join her!

2016 Memorials

Ronald Reid Strain • 7/3/35 – 11/16/15

Born on July 3, 1935, Ron grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he met Laura, the love of his life and best friend for 59 years.  With Laura at his side, Ron embraced life with gusto – raising a son and daughter; having a highly successful career; traveling to six continents; giving back to those less fortunate; savoring good food and fine wine; attending 65 Indy 500s; sharing his wisdom with four grandchildren; and getting a hole-in-one.

Friends and family admired Ron for his integrity (putted everything in), undying loyalty, incredible generosity and human compassion. What he will be most remembered for was his unconditional love of his family.

Ron’s journey with melanoma began in July 2012 when his dermatologist found an “unusual” spot on his forehead.  Since his Mother died from melanoma at age 61, Ron – with his Scotch Irish heritage – routinely visited the dermatologist and always wore protective clothing.  He had an array of hats to fit any occasion. Yet, despite all of this precaution, a biopsy revealed that the spot was melanoma.

Fortunately, the cancer was contained to one area with a PET scan showing no signs of it having spread. Over the next 18 months, three melanoma satellites required additional surgeries and radiation. While all treatments were successful, Ron continued to see his doctor every three months and closely monitored the area on his forehead.

A few weeks after celebrating his 80th birthday with his family in Italy, Ron received the news that his melanoma, which had been “dormant” for two years, had returned, this time in his lungs and stomach lining. Further tests revealed ten lesions in his brain.

Ron loved life and simply did not – could not – leave Laura. He was determined to take the family to celebrate Laura’s 80th birthday the following year in Scotland and Ireland. After recovering from a bout of pneumonia, Ron immediately began immunotherapy and underwent five cyber knife treatments to remove the lesions in his brain. His tenacity and willpower were unwavering despite persistent fatigue, periodic falls and a decline in cognition.

Even after being admitted to the hospital again with pneumonia, Ron repeatedly pronounced that he was going to beat this cancer. Unfortunately, the pneumonia prevented further treatment and eventually caused his body to deteriorate beyond repair. He peacefully passed away with Laura at his side on November 16, 2015.

Our family is pleased to support Ann’s Hope in honor of a man who was always the gentleman, offering everyone a warm smile with a twinkle in his eye. Ron was a husband, father, grandfather and friend who would be proud to support this worthwhile cause.

Would you like to host an event for Ann’s Hope Foundation? We would love to work with you. Contact us today!