She was a leader, a fighter, an inspiration, and everyone was instantly drawn to her.
Those are just some of the words community members are sharing in remembrance of Teresa Bell.
After fighting a public battle with myxoid liposarcoma for 14 years, the Trenton woman, cancer awareness advocate and previous owner of JB Print Solutions died Thursday.
Sarcoma is a cancer which arises in the fatty tissue anywhere in the body and is rather an uncommon soft-tissue tumor.
Bell is survived by her husband Mike, daughters, Paula Dowling (Derek) and Kaitlyn Bell, son Tanner and granddaughters Holly and Isla.
Well known locally, provincially and nationally for her dedication to raise awareness and funds for Sarcoma cancer research, Bell created the Sarcoma cancer research fund with the help of close friends.
Brad Warner with the Hastings-Prince Edward County Community Office of the Canadian Cancer Society has known and worked with Bell for nearly four years and proudly called her a genuine and dedicated leader.
“Her goal was to raise $25,000 over five years for the fund and that was achieved in just two years through her creation of the annual Sarcoma Step and Fetch event in Trenton,” Warner said.
He said the event now in its seventh year has raised $50,000 with all funds going directly to Sarcoma research.
Bell, also a regular attendee and flag bearer at the annual Relay for Life, would share her story every year.
She was a volunteer vice-president at the Society and is credited with starting the fight-back crew that offers support for young adults living with cancer.
“She connected with a lot of people who have been affected by cancer within the community,” recalled Warner.
“She was amazing,” he said. “Honestly it felt like she was invincible.”
In 2012, Bell’s dedication to cancer awareness and her career was honoured when she was named The Intelligencer’s Remarkable Woman of the Year.
In May 2016, Bell was awarded the National Canadian Cancer Society Medal of Courage in honour of her cancer battle and commitment to volunteering with the society.
Amy Doyle, former manager at the local branch nominated Bell for the recognition.
Doyle posted her condolences to Bell’s family on Facebook Thursday.
“We lost Teresa Bell far too young and so full of life and love for everyone she met. I’m so deeply blessed to have known her, to have called her a friend. I will miss you Teresa, and you will never be forgotten. I promise.”
Bell also blogged about her experiences through the course of her journey.
Her daughter Kaitlyn wrote an entry on Tuesday updating Bell’s followers on her mother’s condition and the recent decision to stop treatment.
“She has had such an amazing journey, and the impact that she has had on people… it is incredible,” Kaitlyn wrote. “I may keep posting on the blog from time to time, I may not want to look at it ever again. But I know I will for sure leave it up for anyone in the future who is looking to relate to someone who has Sarcoma cancer. Even though my mom’s story doesn’t end with a miraculous cure, take comfort that my mom lived a full life. She was just crazy enough to live it in a shorter time span than most.”