SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — For 10 years, the Egg Hunt for Hope has combined family fun with a good cause — helping those with cancer and their families.
Each year, organizers identify one family and combine community spirit with donations and an Easter Egg hunt to help.
But this year’s recipient won’t be there in person. Jeneva Rose, who battled brain cancer for 13 years, died Thursday night at the age of 41. A former guidance counselor at Sherwood High School, she leaves behind her husband Jim — the Multnomah Education Service District interim superintendent — and 2 young daughters.
Leslie McCabe, the founder and chair of the Egg Hunt for Hope, said she wants Saturday’s event to celebrate Jeneva.
“We rally together when someone is in need, we’re there to help and it just speaks volumes that, young and old, we’ll be there to support this family.”
She said she wants the Rose family to “know how well and how much Jeneva was loved by her students, by her community, by her staff, and make her daughters feel very special and loved.”
Jeneva, she said, “was a fighter. Cancer didn’t stop her. She kept going and she had it a long time.” McCabe said she’s relieved Jeneva isn’t suffering anymore and “just knowing she’s at peace.”
Yvonne van Andel, who worked with Jeneva as a counselor at Sherwood High, said she had a really big impact on students.
“She has such a heart for students who haven’t had a voice,” van Andel said “She just really reaches out and touches those students who are the underdog, that doesn’t have someone to speak for them.”
Jeneva touched many lives over her 15 years at the school, she said, but “her legacy is her 2 beautiful girls and just the way she’s touched our community.”
The Egg Hunt for Hope, March 12 at 1:30 p.m. at Laurel Ridge Middle School Track and Field
Her battle was very public
For more than 13 years Jeneva Rose battled cancer. She went public with a Facebook page, Root for Rose, and kept her followers updated because she wanted to help others with knowledge and information.
In a statement on the page, Jim Rose wrote, in part:“Last night after 13 years, 6 months, and 13 days I held Jeneva’s hand as her struggle with cancer ended. She was sleeping peacefully and we were surrounded by family. As you would expect with Jeneva she fought it right to the end. I am a better person for the time I got to spend with her and for seeing the strength she showed in fighting her disease. Amazing just seems to fall short in describing her and her strength.”
He and their daughters will be at the Egg Hunt for Hope on Saturday. In fact, the girls will ride on a fire truck with the Easter Bunny.
“She was fun and spunky and loving and kind and thoughtful,” van Andel said, adding she paid “that forward by being those things for each other.”
Leslie McCabe said the Egg Hunt for Hope is a fundraising event and the bills will still be there. But it’s more than that, she said.
“It’s emotional support. It’s going to help all of us. We’re all starting to grieve and I think (the event) has to go on. People need it. I need it. My committee needs it. Her family needs it.”
And in this year’s Egg Hunt for Hope, hope is still the driving force, she said.The Portland Tribune contributed to this report.