Thankfully, Sandy had a wonderful support system throughout her cancer journey starting with her husband Michael who was constantly by her side; their daughter, Lauren, doing everything she could for her Mama, including being the donor when Sandy needed a Bone-Marrow Transplant a year ago; and their son, Aaron, who got home to Leesburg, Virginia, when he could while still in his collegiate senior year. Her extended family, friends and neighbors also helped out as much as she/they needed during the throes of her journey.
I met Sandy (and Diane Lombardo) in September of 1996 when all three of our daughters attended a local preschool in Crofton, Maryland. The three of us hit it off well, and both Sandy and Diane were expecting that fall for springtime births. I already also had two year old Ryan, who was then diagnosed with Leukemia in October of 1996. It did not take long for these two ladies to step up and help our family take care of Olivia when I was always at the hospital, and Bill away at work and desperately trying to get to the hospital as much as he could, and see Olivia at home. We can never repay the kindness bestowed on us during those dire times, but we will live the rest of our lives trying...every day.
Then in 2000, as the toll of the cancer treatments on Ryan left our family quite frazzled, including Ryan relapsing in September of that year, Sandy and her "elves", came up with a brilliant idea of having kids design Christmas Cards with all proceeds of the card sales going to the Ryan Tomoff Fund. It was totally unexpected, and several kids and their parents sold these wonderful cards throughout the local community and beyond. It was a very sweet gesture, and just the kind of thing Sandy would do to help someone in need. She was that kind of person and made the entire process seamless and efficient (that's what the "elves" eventually told me). Quite lovely, don't you think?
Sandy will be terribly missed by so many kind and loving folks just like her. Many hearts are broken as heaven gains a beautiful woman, er, angel, inside and out!
Rest in Peace my friend.
|Sandy Waskiewicz, Photo from her FB page
|Sandy and me at Panera Bread on April 5, 2018; Tyson's Corner, VA
|Two of the three cards in the pack; by artists Lauren Waskiewicz and Alyson Lombardo, Age 8