meet ronnie

Mother of three girls. Web developer. Wine lover. Cook. Stage iv breast cancer survivor. Half marathoner, triathlete.
See’s the glass half full most of the time. Is blessed. Lives thankfully. Has learned that love comes from all directions once you open your heart. Grateful to have experienced such love.

Ronnie with her sister, Tracy and her mother, Bonnie

Ronnie first learned she had breast cancer following a routine exam at a mammography van parked on the campus of Maryville University, where she had accepted her job as manager of web services just a short time previous. That was in February 2009.

With two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment behind her, Ronnie learned in January of 2011 that Stage IV cancer had metastasized in her lungs. She continues to fight a tenacious, courageous and very personal battle with the disease, undergoing weekly chemotherapy while still working full-time and raising, along with her husband, Doug, three wonderful daughters: twins, Mattie and Allie, 12, and Erin, 15.

“I’m not afraid and I’m not sad as long as I know my daughters will be okay,” Ronnie says. “Everyone loses their mother, you never escape the fear of that pain no matter what age you are. But we’re determined to celebrate the time we have now, the life we have together in this moment.”

Doug’s love and strength grows more and more amazing, she says.

“What’s so wonderful and beautiful about Doug is that he can be so stoic it drives me crazy,” Ronnie says. “But he’s been able to be there for the girls in a strong, fatherly way. Together, we’re completely focused on the girls’ well-being now and for the future.”

Ronnie’s “posse” consists of her mother, Bonnie, and her sister, Tracy.

“They have been to every doctor’s appointment with me from the beginning,” Ronnie says. “My mom prays and my sister asks the tough questions.”

Support from her family, friends, co-workers and congregation continues to be a source of tremendous inspiration, Ronnie says.

“All of these people have had a profound impact on my family in ways they couldn’t possibly know or understand,” she says. “A proper ‘thank you’ can’t possibly be rendered.”

Ronnie’s daughters recently recorded an original song through Maryville’s Kids Rock Cancer program. They sing of her unwavering strength and the extraordinary closeness they have come to share with Ronnie through her battle with chronic cancer. It’s a loving testament to a truly remarkable mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.

Hope By Mattie and Allie Gaubatz
Hope

Lyrics:
We will never lose hope

We will be strong together forever
No matter what the future brings
We’re not gonna give up
We will always, always remember you
And nothing will bring us down

We never thought it would go this far
We don’t understand why it had to be you
We are so much closer now
We’ll help you be strong
In the battles you’ll go through

We will never lose hope
We will be strong together forever
No matter what the future brings
We’re not gonna give up
We will always, always remember you
And nothing will bring us down

You always think of us
You’re a fighter and you never quit
Through all the pain you’re still fun to be around
And we love to see you smile
You’ve always been there for us
Now it’s time for us to be there for you

We will never lose hope
We will be strong together forever
No matter what the future brings
We’re not gonna give up
We will always, always remember you
And nothing will bring us down

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