Susan Niebur; astrophysicist, blogger, mom, lived with Inflammatory Breast Cancer and metastasis for five years. She passed away Monday, leaving her husband, two small sons, and a legion of inspired women.
I never did get the chance to meet her in person. She left a comment on this blog a couple of years ago and opened my eyes to a whole new world. At the time I don't think her writing was all that focused on cancer, but on the challenges of being a woman in planetary science and a mother of two small boys.
I've never liked that topics such as education and women's health get turned into political arguments because it threatens to trivialize the importance of the lives affected by those arguments. Two years ago, Susan wrote eloquently about the importance of action over awareness, and followed up with a list of actions to take and organizations supporting those actions. Interesting to note that there are no pink ribbons among them.
In the last post on her blog, Toddler Planet, her husband wrote:
In lieu of flowers, please consider furthering Susan’s legacy through a contribution to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Or please choose to make a difference somewhere, anywhere, to anyone.
Susan made a difference to me and to many women. Sometimes that's the most important thing we can do in any lifetime.