It's a great motto to live by....faith filled, always believin', fierce, kind, strong, positive, amazing....loving, humble.... there's SO many reasons to be more like Nina.
In case you do not know her story, let me share some things with you. Nina grew up on the outskirts of small town Manteca and graduated from Manteca High in 1987. Did you know she was one of the high school mascots? That's right, she paraded around in a Buffalo costume on most Friday nights and since then always said she 'bleeds green'. (School colors are green and white!) She loved many things, including her family, her friends, the Giants, and her Lord (not necessary in that order). Always with a smile on her face, Nina illuminated all things good and loved hard and was loved by all!
Like most, Nina went of to college and graduated, fell in love and married David and had 3 beautiful children that she adored, Courtney, Michael, & Mackenzie. Her children were her reason for everything. She raised her family in Ripon and became a staple in the community. After college, she become a teacher for the Manteca Unified School District and retired (due to her illness) in May of 2017. Prior to her most recent diagnosis, Nina also had completed her Administrative and Counseling credentials. She LOVED working with children and furthering her education to do more was a dream of hers! Being an educator was a huge part of who Nina was: Those who were blessed enough to have been taught by her and along side of her, will never forget her passion and dedication.
In 2004, Nina was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being the positive, strong person she is, she dealt with it like it something on her "to do list" that needed to be dealt with and checked off. Shortly after beating this cancer, she was diagnosed with MS, but that didn't stop her and she went on and was cancer FREE for over 10 years.
In July of 2015 however, her life, and the life of her family was changed. Nina was diagnosed with Terminal Stage 4 Metastasized Breast Cancer. She fought the cancer when it spread to her bones, she fought when it spread to her brain, she fought everyday with a vengeance like no other. It was her positive attitude, surviving mindset, and being an active, involved parent, that kept her going so that she could continue to live! She felt that though her cancer wasn't curable, it was livable and that is exactly what she did; she LIVED! (and danced and sang and loved!)
I know most think Nina "lost" her battle with cancer and feel bad because they "didn't know she was that bad". Well, she wasn't that bad from the cancer per se. Yes, she was tired, but she still had a lot of fight left and a lot to fight for! As a matter of fact, she was excited about the next step of treatment that Dr. Mehdi had planned out. She was looking forward to the opportunities it could create for her. She was looking forward to watching her kids move on to college and graduate. A day before her passing, Nina went to the hospital needing fluids because she was dehydrated and had a low sodium count from the flu and trouble eating. She thought it was just one more thing to take care of and never thought she wouldn't go home after. Unfortunately, they learned she had an infection and she developed sepsis. She was admitted to the hospital where they could give her as many antibiotics as they could to try and fight the infection but with her weakened immune system, coupled with her cancer; it just wasn't working. Her family was by her side and had the opportunity to be there with her late into the night. Nina then spent her last few hours alongside two of her close friends while they talked, laughed, and shared photos until her heart went to sleep at 4:30 am, Thursday, July 26, 2018.
So you see, cancer didn't win! She achieved the goals she made when she was diagnosed. She watched all 3 of her children graduate high school, she watched as Courtney started her journey in college, and she had her air guitar solo at her 30th class re-union to Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. So if you're one of the ones that her fight, and positive attitude has helped you in your illness or life, stay true to her words and Don't Stop Believin'!
Nina wanted a small service to save money, but if you've been on FB and know her, know of her, or know someone that knows her...then you've seen the amount of lives she's touched and there is nothing small about that! This fund will help offset expenses and any additional money will go towards a trust fund for the kids.
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