February 7, 2024
Dear Wonderful People of Mary’s Loving Community,
We lost Mary this week to cancer but our love and commitment to her and her family remain constant.
As we hold the family and Mary close, we wanted to find a way to show our support in a lasting and meaningful way. As we all know, Mary valued higher education tremendously--her work in the Peralta Colleges was all about helping young people in tough situations gain access to the power and wonder of knowledge. She coached young people intimately, 1-1, in groups and over time (perhaps you are one of them :)). We know she had a huge impact on many--not only the students she worked with directly, but the systems she helped change, and programs she helped build to support thousands of students.
When she got her diagnosis in November of 2020, she immediately began doing the math of what it would take for her to get to see her kids get to college--both financially, and in terms of her longevity. She just said last week that she had 4 milestones--two high school graduations, and two college graduations. She only made one of those.
She was elated when Seamus got into UC Santa Cruz, and she was looking forward to taking Milo and friends on a college tour in southern California (and a visit to DisneyLand) next month. This was the finish line she was reaching for--getting Milo a view into what he wanted and helping him get there. She was constantly running the numbers and thinking about how to keep working through her illness to ensure the boys would have the resources they needed to get the best education they could. It literally meant the world to her.
She can’t get the boys to and through it all, but we want to help. With Matt’s blessing, we set up a Go Fund Me so the community can help do it. We want to send a message of love, support, and real resources, to get them where Mary most hoped she could--launched into their own amazing lives.
Please give what you can, and feel free to share with others who may want to as well. Milo and Seamus (and Matt too) will be sheltered and held by this community for decades to come--this is just one tangible thing we can do today.
Our great love to all of you.
Lisa, Jenbo, Debbie and Jennifer on behalf of Matt, Seamus and Milo Shorgren