In one single moment life as we knew it changed, we received the news that no parent or child ever wants to hear. Our precious beautiful son Cory was diagnosed with DIPG. Having gone through 19 months of Cory’s courageous battle, I know first hand what it means to have a child with a Brain Tumor and how that effects them both emotionally & physically. They need support of their parents – caregivers 24/7 and quite often parents are left with 2 options, wanting to be home with them but needing to go to work just to pay bills! This is not a decision that a parent with a terminally ill child should ever have to make! We were very fortunate to have so many people come forward and pull together to help us financially get through but not everyone is lucky enough to have that kind of support. We are hoping to be able to ease some of that burden for other families. My brave boy gave me the strength I needed to get through everyday, his Never Give Up attitude & amazing spirit was beyond what anyone could dream possible. We need to help find new cures & treatments to give kids like Cory the fighting chance they so deserve and that is why Cory’s Crusaders means so much to me. A little about me & my family: my first child passed away when she was only 11 days old from complications of my pregnancy, her name was Nichole & she would have turned 23 this past year. My oldest son Nicholas is 24, Cory turned 18 on Aug 15th 2012 but received his angel wings just 4 days later and our beautiful daughter Nicole who we adopted when she was 8 months old, is now 14. My husband Jim is co founder, our vice president as well as my best friend, as of Oct we will have been married for 25 yrs. Before Cory was diagnosed with DIPG, I worked full time in the kitchen design dept of Home Depot but on Jan 31st 2011 that all changed and here we are today ...
On January 31st 2011 my 16-year-old son Cory Edward Gaudet was diagnosed with DIPG. This disease involves the growth of tumors within the brain stem. This is considered to be the most dreaded of all childhood cancer. The average life expectancy of this disease is less than one year. Despite this diagnosis my son continued to go through life with a NEVER GIVE UP attitude that has forever changed the path I will walk. I am a proud co-founder of Cory’s Crusaders. During our journey many touched our lives. Our family, friends and community went above and beyond in an effort to take the financial impact of fighting this horrible disease away allowing us to focus on what was important and that was the care of Cory. Although we received help from many organizations there was one group that stood out. This group held a relay walk in February of 2012 to assist with the cost of traveling back and forth to the National Institute of Health where Cory had been part of a clinical trial. I will never forget walking the track in the wind blown snow and seeing a hand painted banner which read CORY’S CRUSADERS and had a smiley face on it. That group and others along with how Cory faced this disease head on is my inspiration as apparent in our name. I am committed to paying it forward and assisting the parent’s of children with brain tumors financially. Giving others the same opportunity we had to spend more time with their children and less time worrying about the financial impact of fighting this disease. Along with this there will be a continued effort to both raise awareness and funds for much needed research.
Cancer has affected me all my life. It has been in my mother’s family even before I was born when my grandmother Mary was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on Good Friday and died the day after Easter. Yes, it happened before I was born, but I can only imagine the impact that it had on my mother, who grew up without a mother since the age of 10. Later, I learned of many different cancers that affected most of my aunts and uncles throughout the years, including my step-sister Paula, and more recently my eighteen year old nephew Cory, who battled brain cancer. To Cory I was Aunt Nancy. Cory touched many people in his life and fought this cancer with a NEVER GIVE UP attitude. It is up to us to help give children a fighting chance to live a full and cancer-free life. That is why this organization is so important. We need to create more awareness about childhood cancer, what is being done about it(research and things like the clinical trials in which Cory participated in)and what we can further do both globally (through research and treatment)and locally(through prevention, compassion and collaboration),together we can stand up to cancer instead of bowing down to I
I’ve been a dancer for twelve years at a local dance studio and also enjoy teaching classes to other girls every opportunity I get. Besides dance I enjoy everyday outdoor activities which is where I got to meet and bond with my former friend Cory. A friend since I was about seven years old we enjoyed hanging out with the neighborhood kids going to the park and being adventurous which is all things I still enjoy today. When I’m not dancing I’m studying for school where I plan to achieve a business degree and one day open up my own dance studio. I personally want to help make a difference in the way families and friends go through a situation much like the one I went through. Nothing would make me happier than to know I have made a difference in someone’s life because i know first hand how much it helps and makes a difference in a time of need. I’m strongly dedicated to a cause that is bigger than myself and the responsibilities that come with it and hope everything I do can further help another family in a stressing time. That is why I became a member of Cory’s Crusaders.
I’m a long time friend of the Gaudet family and a proud member of Cory’s Crusaders! I met Cory when he was a young boy. I was lucky enough to be his first baseball coach. What started as a simple youth coach/player relationship grew into a lifelong friendship. Cory’s positive attitude, humility and kindness will forever be his trademarks. Cory’s love and loyalty to family and friends never wavered. I may have been the coach, but Cory was the role model. Our friendship continued as Cory grew older. Cory made sure of that. Fishing, texting, laughing and even sometimes crying. He touched my life forever. He touched many lives forever. Cory’s spirit and passion for life should be a lesson for us all. I’m a Crusader to help support the battle to beat childhood cancer. I’m a Crusader to assist parents in need. I’m a Crusader….for Cory.