29 11 2013

Today is my birthday. Celebrate my life with you.  And remember the good times, not the bad. And Do not be sad; Look up towards the sun and catch every ray of light upon your cheek. For I am there with you.  Today is my birthday. Be happy for me . I lived short, but full.  I had the pleasure of love and the joy of my family. Do not be sad. Look up towards the stars and catch each twinkle in your heart. For I am there with you.

Today is another year that we remember our AMYAZING AMY and celebrate her special day sending love, hugs and wishes to her in Heaven.  Not a day goes by that someone, somewhere isn’t thinking of her and remembering all the joy and laughter she brought to each of us in her own loving and unique way.

Below is a picture of Amy sending off a lantern for her 43rd birthday.  It’s heart breaking to know that was her last birthday here with us and today, 11/29/13 we extend our love to her in Heaven.  Happy Birthday Amy!  You are missed more than you could ever imagine.

We love and miss you Amy!  Happy Birthday!

Amy sending off a pink lantern for her 43rd birthday! 11-29-11


17 10 2013

If Amy was here, she would be throwing the biggest surprise party ever for her wonderful husband Don for his 40th birthday today, 10/17/13!!  But if you know Amy, she’s celebrating for him big time with her friends and family above and sending down her love, huge hugs and her AMYAZING infectious smile!  There are no words to express how much Amy is still missed each and every day but so many of us carry a piece of her with us and there are so many signs that she continues to be a part of our daily lives.  So no tears today; we know Amy would want us to sing our hearts out to her husband Don and shine her light on his special day!





Love and hugs for a wonderful year ahead!!


Happy 40th Amy!



22 08 2013

For those that knew Amy, you know she loved her birthday.  And not just that day but she would celebrate for an entire week – her birthday week.  Well her son Theo is just like his mom!  He’s having a week of birthday fun!  A few days ago, he had dinner and ice cream with his Aunt Julie and Uncle Jim, Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave and cousins Natalie and Blake.  He even woke up early the next day to put his new birthday gift together!

BIRTHDAY - 8-22-13  8TH    BIRTHDAY 8-22-13

Tonight on his 8th birthday, he will have hockey practice and I know Amy and her Dad will be watching him from above and cheering him on!

ice skating 1  ice skating

His Birthday Fun will continue this weekend with Don, family and friends at ZAP ZONE!!  What 8yr old (or any age for that matter) doesn’t love it there!

HAPPY 8th Birthday Week THEO! 


theo's 6th birthday

Happy 8th Birthday Theodore…with love from your mom!

I may not physically be there but I’m always near and in your heart.



Happy 14th Anniversary

4 07 2013

A beautiful Facebook post from Don to Amy  7/4/13

 Happy Anniversary. It has been 14 years since we said we do. One of the vows was till death do we part. Well, you are and always will be a part of me. I miss our life together, the way you had endless energy, but only for about 5 hours at a time. A quick nap and boom! Off and running! Your infectious laugh. The way you loved our son more then anything in this world. I love you and always will.

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Amy Rauch Neilson, It's in the Genes    Me and my hubby, enjoying a ride on our pontoon boat.

Race for the Cure 2013 – Amy’s Walking Angels

20 05 2013

What counts is that we’re together in this, and we’re in this together!

These were Amy’s words from her Race for the Cure post in 2011. How right she was! The tradition of Amy’s Walking Angels continues as we united together as one last Saturday to walk in honor of our Amyazing Angel Amy! Thank you Mollie Finch for organizing and bringing us all together each year! It was the perfect day for a 5k walk and it gave us all time to reminisce about Amy. How she loved life, loved people, loved writing, loved family time, loved animals, loved talking, loved being goofy, loved laughing,  loved, loved, loved…

???????????????????  ???????????????????  mollieMollie, Greg and Kara

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2013-05-18 08.48.54-1-1  ???????????????????  ???????????????????  ???????????????????  ???????????????????  ???????????????????  group pic

Amy Lange – Fox 2 News Remembers our Angel Amy

15 05 2013

When the news of actress Angelina Jolie aired yesterday, it was only a matter of minutes before our own local news favorite Amy Lange, with Fox 2 News contacted us.  Although it’s been 2 years since Amy interviewed our Amy, she hasn’t stopped thinking about her and admired her heroic and courageous fight against cancer.  Amy Lange met with Don yesterday who shared his heart-felt loss of his wife and mother of his son.  Our AMYAZING AMY would be so proud that her story continues to be heard and is still helping to spread the word of early detection and prevention for breast cancer.  THANK YOU Amy Lange for including and remembering our angel Amy in your story.  She is deeply missed and will never be forgotten.

 Please watch the link below to see the news story that Amy Lange did and to see and hear our AMYAZING Amy in the video. 

A courageous decision by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie is a serious reality for so many people right here in our community – and it’s no guarantee…

2 metro Detroit women made same decision as Jolie to cut cancer risk

TROY, Mich. (WJBK) -One of Hollywood’s biggest stars told the world Tuesday about her decision to  undergo a double mastectomy. Angelina Jolie said she did it to cut her risk of  breast cancer, and she is not alone. Two local women made a similar  choice.
Anita Fabian is a mother of three who had a double mastectomy and  her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed after genetic testing showed she is  predisposed to breast and ovarian cancer.
“My mom had cancer when I was  13, and she died when I just turned 25,” Fabian explained. “I didn’t want my  babies to be without a mom.”
The genetic testing and double mastectomy  are the same procedure Jolie just revealed she underwent to prevent the  possibility of getting the same cancer that killed her mother.
“Genetic  counseling is extremely important because these are complicated decisions,” said  Beaumont oncologist Dr. Dana Zakalik.
The doctor said those with early  onset breast or ovarian cancer or a family history should be tested. If positive  for the BRCA gene mutation, a 60 to 85 percent chance of getting breast cancer  can be reduced to around five to eight percent.
“If you do bilateral  mastectomies, if you choose to do that, that you really are doing the most that  you can possibly do to reduce your risk of breast cancer,” Zakalik  said.
But a preventive mastectomy is no guarantee the cancer will be  prevented as I learned two years ago when I did a story with a local wife and  mother who fought so courageously, but still couldn’t win.
“We did  everything humanly possible, and I still lost my wife,” said Don Neilson. “We  were aggressive as humanly possible, and I still lost her.”
He lost his  wife, Amy, just one year ago. She beat breast cancer once. A carrier of the BRCA  gene, she had both breasts removed along with her ovaries and fallopian tubes  trying to steer clear of the cancer that had killed her mother and  grandmother.
“The sad thing is… they told me after this surgery she had  two percent chance of getting it back,” Neilson said.
They thought she  was home free, then she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. She fought  valiantly, blogged about her battle, and told her story to help  others.
“Just be aware that it’s never a hundred percent,” she told Fox 2  before her death.
Still, Dr. Zakalik said what happened to Amy is very  rare. So know your family history.  The genetic testing and the  preventative measures can be the difference between life and death.
“I’d  rather live and see my babies get married and have grand kids versus what my mom  did,” Fabain said.Read more: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/22252710/2-metro-detroit-women-made-same-decison-as-jolie-to-cut-cancer-risk#ixzz2TPZ52wDO

For my son Theo…

6 05 2013

Some private thoughts from Don to his son Theo.  Written from the heart at that moment in time.


You are sound asleep next to me and your mother is asleep in the hospital bed beside us. This weekend was a bit hard. Mom slept a lot and I tried my best to keep you entertained. We played Sky landers so much we went through one set of batteries on the porthole base. It must be hard for you to see mom this way and not fully understand what is going on. It is hard for me and I do. I’m so sorry for my short temper; I try so hard not to be that way with you. Mom is slowly getting sicker and it is taking more of me to take care for her. It is not fair to you. You can’t do the things with your Mommy like you used to and you can’t hang with me because I’m taking care of your Mother. Life is very unfair and for that I am truly sorry Theo.


Today was a rough day for me Theo. Your Mommy had a rough day as well. I picked you up from school and as soon as we pulled in the driveway a nurse was right behind us. I’m sorry there are so many people in and out of our house right now. We watched Gnomeo and Juliette and had some laughs with Mom. Then I needed to give Mom her night meds and you just looked at me as I was giving them to her as if you were sad that we had to go through this as a family. I am too Buddy. The best part of the day is when just before you drifted off to sleep you rolled over put your arms around me and said, “I Love You Daddy.” Well I Love you.


Today was your last game of your first soccer season and the first time you played goalie. The game was a tie, and a good one! But at the end as you got your treat bag I could not help to think how would it of been if your mom was still here. A little more cheering, a little more go Theo! I know she was watching from the heavens cheering and smiling down on you. If for some reason I did not tell you enough, I love you.


It is almost a year since your Mom went to Heaven. The time has gone so quickly and you are growing up so fast. I hope I give you just the right amount of soft comfort on stern discipline. You are doing so well in school and hockey! You just starter this past winter and you are now “hockey stopping” and skating backwards. It is 1:33 am and you are fast asleep in my bed. You get so happy when I say you can sleep in my bed with me. You lay your head on my chest and say, “You are the best Daddy a Theo could ever have.” And I say, “You are the best Theo a Daddy could ever have.” I can only hope you always feel this way. As I lay here next to you I can’t help but think what our life was a year ago. I look back and have no idea how I was getting through the up every two hours to give your mother some kind of medication, take you to school, feed the both of you and try to take care of the house. We had a lot of great people helping us but it was still very hard. And most of the time in the last few days I would just lay there and listen to every breath, hoping it wasn’t her last, hoping for one more day but at the same time praying for her peace.  I wanted so much to take away her pain, her fear, but I couldn’t. Now I want to take all your pain and fears away and sometimes I think I can. But then some nights as I’m putting you to bed I see the pain in your eyes, the small pools at the bottom of your eyelids. You look at me and I can see it on your face that you wish it was Mommy there beside you. I ask what are you thing and you shake your head and simply say, “Nothing Daddy, I love you.” And roll over and fall asleep. I will love you with no end my son.

amy-race-for-the-cure-5-26-12-027  don and theo jetski  Don teaching Theo how to ride a bike, September 13, 2010. Photo by Amy Rauch Neilson.


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