The following letter was sent to the LRG email community as well as many of Judi and Lee’s friends. Lee Emerson was a remarkable man who is truly missed by all; Judy has been an amazing caregiver and we thought it appropriate to say goodbye to Lee with Judi’s own words.

It is with great sadness that another could not slay the dragon called GIST. Lee fought hard, he was calm and steady during the entire battle. He lived with the dragon since July of 2001. He was an athlete; lean and ready, with perseverance and endurance. He tried all the medicines plus radiation but could not hold it at bay.

We were together 29 years this month and worked together side by side in business for 23 of those years. On January 20 he signed the hospice papers. I kept him at home. He called his sons, siblings, and friends. And his sons came and spent time. They said goodbye and cried. Lee failed quickly, the disease shut him down and he was in “limbo” for only a few days. We have lost another warrior to the disease. My passion, my friend and my lover.

Please light a candle and keep up the fight. Hopefully the battle will be longer for our fellow-GISTers which will come from learning more about the Beast. Lee and I send you love, thanks, and hugs for your support.

— Judi

Click here to read a November 2007 article on Judi’s caregiver battle.  Be sure to check out our In Memoriam section on the Life Raft Group website.