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.
Judy Blaylock was a selfless and warm-hearted soul who is incredibly missed by her family and friends. After beating cervical cancer and having several breast cancer scares Judy was diagnosed with stage three malignant melanoma. She fought the melanoma aggressively, always keeping a brave face and a positive attitude no matter how painful and tedious her treatment plan became. After fighting for nearly two years the cancer spread to her lungs; Judy Blaylock passed away September 7th, 2019 surrounded by loved ones.
She was a generous person who was willing to help anyone she could; even if it put her needs second. Not only was she willing to help financially, giving advice was something she excelled at. Judy didn’t shy away from telling someone what they didn’t want to hear. She always found a way to be honest while still being kind and withholding judgment.
Judy dedicated over 20 years to the convenience stores of Speedway. She began her career as a cashier and worked her way up to a field marketing position reporting to the corporate office. She was extremely respected by her peers and was often looked to as an expert in her craft. Judy was devoted to her job until her body would not allow her to perform her duties anymore.
As the temperature rose and the snow melted you knew you could find Judy in her yard tending to her flowers. She always had an outdoor project to keep her entertained. If she wasn’t in her yard she was spending time with her family. After a long day of gardening, there was nothing she enjoyed more
than sitting by a bonfire with her husband Herb. She loved being with her nine siblings and extended family. She was extremely proud of her four children and glowed with pride when talking about them. There was nothing she loved more than being a grandmother, she was the best at spoiling her grandchildren.
Judy is incredibly missed, there will never be a groundhog day, glass of barefoot bubbly, sushi dinner, camping trip, or backyard bonfire ever again that she is not remembered by her loved ones.
My name is Sara Chang. My mom is Judy Blaylock, your 2020 Memorial. My brother is Kurt Ehlers, who got involved with Ann’s Hope. I just wanted to take a minute in all this worldly chaos and express my gratitude. My brother and I had talked about organizing a 5k in my mom’s honor and my brother was doing all the leg work looking into it. When he told me about Ann’s Hope I thought it was perfect. Please forgive me, my thoughts get a bit jumbled when talking about my mom as there is so much emotion and her loss is still really fresh.
I am her oldest child and only daughter. I was born on Feb 2nd, which also happens to be my mother’s birthday. I like to joke and say I was the birthday gift that could never be topped. My mom was amazing. She was my best friend. We were close even though we lived far apart. LONG phone calls every weekend. I was living in Germany when my mom first mentioned that she had found a mole on the back of her thigh. It was a brutal battle for her life which she sadly lost in September.
Judy had the Braf gene making immunotherapy basically not effective for her. Her initial surgery removed something in the way of 8” x6” of skin down to the muscle on the back of her thigh. A lymph node was also removed from her groin due to the spread. She started chemotherapy and stayed on it until about a month before she passed. After regrowing her tissue back, a skin flap was eventually performed and things were looking up. Sadly, a tiny dot appeared near where the scar was healing. It was tested and indeed it was melanoma. Radiation was the next treatment on the menu. While undergoing the radiation treatments more melanoma spots would pop up near the areas of focus for radiation. It was a visible thing, you could watch the cancer’s will to survive and move to another location. The radiation was increased in duration and location which caused enormous amounts of pain, burnt deep holes into her body, and basically tore through her system. Due to the lymph node removal and the lymphedema that runs in our family, she carried so much swelling in her leg. She used machines to recirculate the fluid from her leg. The radiation burns were the worst. So much tissue had been damaged and she had such a deep crater burnt into her leg, that it would not heal or close. Hyperbaric chamber treatments were the next stage. Attempting to heal those wounds required something in the way of 60 chamber treatments which of course awakened all those damaged nerves in her leg. It was more gruesome that one might think. I went home to visit with my children at the end of July. During that visit, she had thought she hurt herself at work and injured a rib. It turned out after another scan there was fluid around her lungs and the chemotherapy had stopped working. The rest happened so quickly it hardly seems real. That day they started a new treatment and drained the area around her lung. Less than a week later they tried putting a drain in to help her. She ended up in the ER because she couldn’t breathe and the drain wasn’t helping. More testing was done and I will never forget the day she called me in Florida with news that turned everyone’s world upside down. It was not fluid in her lungs, it was melanoma. It was everywhere. She was given 2-4 weeks to live based on the rate her lungs were filling. The hyperbaric chamber treatments are considered experimental but I can’t help but wonder if that helped oxygenate melanoma through her entire body. I arrived on September 5th after having my flight canceled due to Hurricane Dorian throwing the entire east cost into chaos, That was Thursday evening. By the time I got there, she could barely speak. She was in so much agony. She was a fighter and stubborn to the very end. She demanded to be sitting up in a chair when I arrived. No matter how much pain she was in this was what she wanted. She took the burden of this awful disease and did her best to protect her grown children from it. We realize she must have been planning because she handled each child a separate way. I got a whispered I love you and she opened her eyes through the pain meds and knew I was there. She was still determined to get the third treatment. (The name of it eludes me at the moment) The next day she was moved to hospice. The reality of what that really is makes families feel helpless. We want desperately to help and all we can do is sit by and watch over our loved ones. I stayed with her through the night. I dragged up a chair next to her bed and just wanted to mother her through the night and watch over her as she had done me so many times in my life. Nobody tells you that things will play in your mind a thousand times over. I had a million selfish reasons to beg her to stay and keep fighting and in the end only one to let her go. Melanoma is agonizing and vicious. I am relieved she is no longer in pain. Something you should know… she was positive through this entire process. The entire time she endured pain, she still laughed! She laughed and remained positive and was determined right down to her last breath. She was scared, but not bitter. I know there are many brave cancer warriors out there but I just feel like my mom was extra special.
Today is mother’s day and today above all days, I just wanted to let someone in the world know what a fighter she was. I was so touched that your organization chose to honor my mom. I really wanted to be able to say thank you in person but the virus kind of decided that it was not to be. I live in Florida but had made arrangements to fly in for the event. My son and I were signed up to volunteer for the goodie bag station and I also signed up to walk if there was time. I was so excited for this event. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done to raise awareness, raise funds, and honoring my mom. It has been 8 months and the grief has not lessened but knowing something positive is being done makes it a bit more bearable.
Please keep the extra from the registration for the organization. We will be participating from Florida on the way of the marathon.
Thank you so much for all your organization does. Not enough advancements have been made in Melanoma especially for Braf gene carriers. My hope is someday there are more options in treatment. The word melanoma feels like a death sentence. In my mom’s case, it was. Maybe someday it won’t have to be.
Thank you so much for honoring my mom this year. It means so very much.
Daughter of Judy Blaylock (2020 memorial)
Craig Harasha was a man who lived his life with integrity. He was true to himself and deeply cared for those around him. Craig was a dedicated employee of Alliant Energy and a committed member of the Cascade Nation Ski Patrol. He was an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for skiing, hiking and biking. He also enjoyed reading and spending time with friends and family. He was quick to help anyone who needed a task completed and loved to give a helping hand.
Craig was diagnosed at the age of 42 with stage 4 melanoma after finding a lump on his upper back. His short battle with melanoma was fought with courage and dignity and he endured two rounds of chemotherapy, Gamma Knife, whole brain and other radiation. The beast known as melanoma took his life in just six short months.
Craig was a loving son, brother, uncle, friend and nephew and is deeply missed by all. They are each saddened that his life was cut short by this horrific disease.
Craig was alive at the inception of Ann’s Hope Foundation and we now continue these efforts in his memory. Life is all about the journey; Craig’s journey was comprised of simple pleasure and heartfelt giving.
Husband, father, grandfather, friend, Richard was 63 years old and just beginning to experience retirement when melanoma ended his life. Richard enjoyed many activities with his wife Jan and children Anne and Eric, including skiing, cycling and golfing. Richard volunteered in numerous charity events and loved giving back to his community.
Richard’s melanoma was first discovered with a black area on his toe. He endured surgeries and a year of Immunotherapy before relapsing and losing his two-year battle to melanoma. He lived long enough to see his third grandchild, Phoebe, born. Ann’s Hope Foundation was started in memory of Richard by his daughter, Anne Frentzel.
Would you like to host an event for Ann’s Hope Foundation? We would love to work with you. Contact us today!