Daughter includes PanCAN in her will after losing mom to pancreatic cancer– Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Linda Dodge with her mother, Gladys.
Editor’s Note: On Mother’s Day, we think of that one woman, and sometimes women, who shaped our lives. Linda Dodge’s mother left an indelible impression on her – she lost her to pancreatic cancer in 2019. Linda included PanCAN in her will, so that other pancreatic cancer patients have a chance to have more time with their families.
Mighty mouse. That’s what the children in the rural town of Walden, Colorado called Linda’s mother.
Gladys Dodge was small, smart, tough, athletic and disciplined. She was also kind and loving. The kids loved her.
She and her husband, Harold, raised their children Linda and Jeff in the small town of 800. Gladys made sure to give them every opportunity to expand their world, starting with music.
Perfectly pitched, Gladys was an accomplished pianist and organist, receiving her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Wyoming. She had high hopes for her children. Each morning started with breakfast at 6am and 30-60 minutes of music practice.
For 27 years, Gladys taught kindergarten at the local school – she also taught piano lessons after school from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM. She taught the kids of kids she’d already had in kindergarten and was a favorite among all ages. Linda’s friends affectionately called her mother “Mama Dodge.”
Gladys conducted church services and all musical events for classes K-12. She even baked and provided refreshments. She was devoted to her garden and laid out a lawn on her own in front of each of the three houses in which they lived.
Nobody understood how she’d accomplished so much. It was a shock when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and passed away just five months later, ”said Linda.
She knew she wanted to make a donation to PanCAN.
Linda is seriously researching the charities she supports. “PanCAN consistently receives four-star ratings from Charity Navigator – it’s one of the best-run charities I’ve found. The team is doing everything it can to find the answers to this disease, ”said Linda.
Linda included PanCAN in her will, and her father also made a donation in memory of the powerful woman they loved. She said it would make her mother happy.
Her mother and father were married for 67 years. Every day they held hands and walked to the mailbox, even when she was sick. They watched sports hand in hand and even fell asleep hand in hand. “They were devout Christians and hard-working people. I was glad they enjoyed life more when they retired – they spent a lot of time together playing golf, ”said Linda.
One of her favorite memories is connected to the three-hour single rides her mother took with Linda and Jeff every Saturday for their private music lessons.
Sometimes we stopped for donuts and hot chocolate – that was always a treat.
“When I was young, Dad worked as a milkman and Jeff and I worked for him to deliver dairy and bread products after school. My parents gave us everything they could and were great role models to us, ”said Linda.
She said she is grateful that her mother raised her to be a strong, independent woman.
Linda believes in PanCAN’s mission to take bold action to improve the lives of everyone affected by pancreatic cancer. She doesn’t want anyone to experience what she’s done. “Contact PanCAN. Don’t give up hope. “
Give patients the chance to spend more time with their loved ones – make a gift to PanCAN today!