On October 16, 2013, I lost my best friend to breast cancer.
I was hesitant in writing this post because I’m never sure how much of my personal life I want to reveal online, but, since today is a day of remembrance, I wanted to honor Jena, my sorority sister, Facebook “wife”, best friend, and confidant.
Cancer killed my friend in a year and half, but it was more like 6 months.
After a hellish year of enduring a mastectomy, and chemo and radiation treatment, Jena was informed that she was cancer free – only for it to return in March 2013 and metastasize to her back and brain.
I’ve never seen anyone handle the terrifying news and horrific pain more gracefully or with so much admirable strength. I truly mean it when I say (and thankfully, I had the opportunity to say it to her many times) that she is my hero.
Jena will be missed by her many friends, family members, coworkers, and acquaintances. She was a bright and youthful spirit, full of energy, and always the life of the party. A proud Philadelphia resident, Jena was also a huge Phillies fanatic, and season ticket holder.
We may not have agreed on sports, but we both shared a love of dancing, a questionable taste in movies and music, travel, fashion, and cheering for our alma mater, Penn State.
I will miss her constant support, willingness to try new things, love of life, and, most of all, her distinct accent and laugh.
Words cannot begin to express what she meant to me, and I will keep her and the wonderful memories she gave to me, in her brief 29 years, close to my heart for the rest of my life.
Jena, I love you. Rest in peace.
Cancer is a truly evil disease, and I hope that someday we can find a cure. If you like to donate to The Jena Furlong Breast Cancer fund for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. please click here.