Jennifer Lynn O'Connor Memorial Fund
Organized by: Kathy Bittrich
Jennifer died August 10, 2014 losing her final battle with cancer. 46 years old, three children, eight siblings. Jen was reunited with her children and siblings 11 months ago and what we didn't know then was how much we would learn from her about the power of love and family. Jen left her children and cut off contact with most of her family 7 years ago and reconnected intermittently. Breast cancer and the love for her children brought her back to us 11 months ago with the goal of reconnecting and repairing chains of love that can never be fully broken. Her prognosis was 2 months to live in September 2013. The next 11 months provided time and hope. While one person's journey can never be fully understood, what can be known is the gifts you receive from being a part of someone else's journey. The last 11 months have allowed Jen's three children - Joey (19), Jill (17) and Julia (14) - to renew their connection to their cousins, aunts and uncles. Through this journey of reconnection we have all learned that love and family will always be what sustains a person. As Jen's children continue their life journey the family is asking for donations to a memorial fund that will sustain her children's basic needs - education, clothing, food and shelter. Each child has different needs - Joe loves to cook and he is working to support himself - Jillian is 17 and has asked Uncle Richie to take on her guardianship, with hopes of finishing high school, finding a part time job and start an education in something she loves - Julia is supported by her father and step-mother in a loving family with older step brothers and would enjoy staying connected as often as possible to her brother and sister. While Jen could not contribute or provide any of these things for her children, we would like to begin a vehicle to support their journey. Through Crowdrise, we have created a memorial fund that is designed to meet the basic needs of the children - education, clothing, food and shelter.