There’s something strikingly familiar about the cancer community and how those who’ve been touched by this collection of deadly, debilitating diseases will often come together, almost as if at a big table, to pass along love, support, gratitude and good deeds like so many bowls of mashed potatoes and slabs of homemade pie.
So it is with 9-year-old McCall Hunter and her family, friends and neighbors here in Seattle and beyond. So it is with the strangers who were moved by the fourth grader’s desire to make a difference and the Fred Hutch researchers who were inspired by the Girl Scout’s dedication and generosity.
About four years ago, the Hunters lost a beloved family friend to breast cancer. Stephanee Jane Rowbury, who died at 44, was a charming, funny and whip-smart event planner and caterer who grew up in Idaho but was a Texan at heart, the kind of woman who referred to her hair color as “chocolate cake,” the kind of woman who had a Maudie’s Tex-Mex margarita named for her, the kind of woman who flew from Austin to Seattle each and every February to celebrate her longtime friend’s daughter birthday.
To the world, she was a glamour girl and gourmet cook. To McCall, she was simply funny, loving bedtime-story-spinning Auntie Stephie.