Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Obituary

(photo credit: Jane Groom)

Rachel Elyse Stratton
1995-2015

After 20 short years on this earth, Rachel Elyse Stratton returned to her Father in Heaven during the early hours of August 23, 2015. Her battle with cancer was only a small portion of her time with us, but she used that time to inspire people at home and around the world.  

“I believe I am my own statistic,” she wrote on her blog, and she set out to prove it was true. In 2012, she was diagnosed with DIPG and given nine months to live. Throughout her trial, she never had a bad attitude. Rather, she found positive in the negative, and constantly looked for new ways to challenge herself and uplift others. Rachel had a deep desire to serve a mission, and although the cancer prevented her from an official call, she came to understand that her blog was her mission. 

Through her blog she inspired thousands. She was never afraid to say the hard things, or speak the truth. She refused to give-in. “I do hard things, but I'm not doing them alone. The Lord has blessed me with so many tender mercies through this trial. The medicines and everything may be healing my body but I know it's through Him that we are truly healed.” Rachel’s life was a testament to faith and a wonderful example of perseverance and strength. 

After her diagnosis Rachel did not slow down. She not only continued to do the things she loved to do, she focused on improving her talents and learning new skills. Besides returning to school and earning a promotion at work, she was an avid reader and a prolific writer, who pursued numerous hobbies including: sewing, quilting, playing the piano, and watercolors among many other things. With a close friend, she also made a business called Mindless, selling sewn goods to raise money for childhood cancer research. Although her illness presented challenges, Rachel faced them with the same tenacity and high spirits displayed throughout her life, turning challenges into opportunities.  

Rachel attended Foothill Elementary, Canyon View Junior High, and graduated from LDS Seminary and Orem High School in 2013, where she was awarded “Most Inspirational Senior”. Rachel loved being outdoors. She ran Varsity track and cross-country for four years, and in 2012, she helped the team win a state championship. Known as “Big Rach” to some, her personality was as big as her love for family and friends. 

She is survived and missed by her parents Chad and Diane Stratton, brother Devin Stratton, sisters Lauren Stratton, Heather Hafen (Cody Hafen), and identical twin Jordyn Swenson (Cooper Swenson).

Rachel’s family would like to thank IHC Homecare & Hospice, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Primary Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and doctors Jim, J. Clark and Bradley Anderson.

A viewing will be held the evening of Friday, August 28 from 6 to 8 pm at the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home located at 646 East 800 North, Orem, UT. An additional viewing will be held prior to the Funeral Services on Saturday, August 29th from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Orem Orchard Stake Center. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Orem Orchard Stake Center on 600 North 800 East, Orem, UT. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to www.thecurestartsnow.org in Rachel’s name. 

31 comments:

  1. I'm not quite sure if Rachel's family will ever see this, but I wanted to share. I met Rachel at EFY the year before she was diagnosed. Although I didn't know her very well at all, she had a certain light and spiritual presence about her that made an impression on me, still 4 years later. She was so un-apologetically honest about her love for God and the gospel it was amazing to see. Even that one short experience, and reading this blog, has impacted me. I think that's a testament to how well she served her 'mission' here on earth. It's just who she was, is, that radiated love and faith to all those around her. As tears stream as i'm typing this, her memory is something i'll think about and in reverence use to strengthen my own testimony. I just wish I could thank her for that. Sending so many prayers your way.

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  2. This is Rachel's mother, thank you so much for sharing this and we will forever cherish your kind and beautiful words. I guess she got a mission transfer...

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    1. She sounded like a fighter and is my role model even though I don't have Cancer!!! Btw are Brooklyn and Bailey your nieces?

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  3. This is Rachel's mother, thank you so much for sharing this and we will forever cherish your kind and beautiful words. I guess she got a mission transfer...

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  4. She got a mission indeed. I had so much hope, I reviewed everyday her blog for a new entry, I never closed the blog, I had hope. I had the dream of her surviving. I was living through your family the pain and sorrow that I lived when losing my sister because of brain cancer, all over again, but I was sure it was going to be a happy ending on this earth. However, I know this is not the end... but I had a dream. Love and blessings from this Mexican in Peru

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  5. I've been following this blog the past four years. It really struck a chord with me as I'm a highschool teacher and Rachel was the age of many of my students. I am also a twin and reading about Rachel's relationship with hers was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I had the honor of buying some of Rachel's beautiful (and motivational ) watercolors. They are now framed and we'll go up on the wall of my classroom this Fall. I hope in this small way I can help her mission continue here on earth. Prayers to your family.

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  6. Great post. This article is very interesting .its must be helpful
    and informative for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post.
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  7. I miss her so much and I never met her. Well, I feel like I did because her soul was in her writing. I love that soul.

    I am so sorry for the anguish you are all feeling.

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  8. I'm so grateful that I was able to follow Rachel' s journey since the beginning. She was a strong woman and such an inspiration.
    She really accomplished her mission with this blog, she touched so many lives across the world.

    My prayers and thoughts are with your family.

    Pau, from Santiago Chile.

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  9. I have followed this blog from near the beginning. Rachel has been such an inspiration. I admired her positive attitude. She will be missed. I am happy she isn't in pain anymore and can serve her mission on the other side.

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss. I came to know her through her blog as a bright, witty and strong young woman. May the Lord bless you at this difficult time.

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  11. I only knew Rachel through this blog but I hope today she is running like she wished. I hope she sees the impact she had on so many. I hope one day to meet her.

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  12. Your daughter is one of the most courageous people I have grown to know through the internet. You are right, Her mission files was the internet. I came on here today to check on her, I decided I was finally going to write to her to tell her some things. She was amazing, funny, talented and had a faith to make all believe.

    My deepest sympathy to you all. I am so grateful she is no longer suffering but so sorry the earth only got to have her the short amount of time they did

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  13. I keep going back to the good days, when it seems like she was doing so much better. I know dipg is the nastiest of the nasty, but it's still so shocking for some reason. Rachel was special and she was going to be the first to beat it. When some time has passed, would a member of the family fill in the blanks? Did the tumor just start growing again like crazy? Maybe I am searching for an answer to a question that isnt for us to ask because we cant understand our Father's plans. Anyway, I will never forget her. I still check her blog nearly every day out of habit. I'm glad. She was here and she mattered so much.

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  14. I'm still feeding her fish. I miss her.

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  16. Hi Lauren
    It's so sad that there havent been any updates to Rachel's blog, I remember you said you would continue to post for Rachel. Don't let this place die with Rachel..

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  17. I often come back here to check if there have been any updates. Rachel is missed by many. And every time I come back and I see the picture of this post of her free with the balloons it makes me smile and sad at the same time. I just love this picture. The best to her family.

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  22. Thank you for being an inspiration to people with cancer.

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  24. It inspire so people, thanks for sharing.

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  25. May your <a href="http://colorectal-surgeon.com.au/>Cancer</a> journey inspire many others to keep faith .

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    1. A braveheart's Cancer journey which insppire many others

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