Rosa Maria Botaish
February 10, 1959 – June 19, 2016
I’m a survivor, conqueror, and fighter;
I’m a wife, mother, and friend;
I’m far from a victim;
I’m hoping you understand;
I’m not defined by my cancer,
But how I lived my life;
I’m hoping my journey was an inspiration,
To all who watched this fight.

Rosa was born in Cuba, and in 1964 was brought to the United States by her parents who had nothing but unconditional love for their two children and a desire to provide them hope for a better life.

Rosa was a special education teacher for thirty-three years. In her role as an educator, she provided hope and support for parents and their children. Throughout her life, she believed in and had high expectations for each of the children she met and taught.

In 1981, Rosa got married and proceeded to bring two young men into the world. She taught them values, gave them unconditional love, and provided a solid foundation from which to live their lives.

In 2006, Rosa was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was just the beginning of a very difficult journey. This coincided with the untimely death of her mother. Rosa continued the battle, faced with a disease that tries to take one’s dignity along with the loss of her closest friend, her mother. For several years, Rosa wore the Survivor t-shirt at the Relay for Life. She never lost sight that people were missing each year from the prior year. This did not stop Rosa from striving to do what she enjoyed most: contribute to and enjoy life.

In 2010, Rosa was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer, which unfortunately has no cure. Over the next six years, Rosa faced many challenges, including stays in the hospital, changes in chemo therapy, and a breaking down of her body. Through it all, she continued to overcome every obstacle and contribute to and enjoy life.

In the beginning of 2016, Rosa felt something had changed in her body. She was concerned that there were new challenges ahead. Rosa’s fears were confirmed with the news that the treatment that she had followed for two years was no longer effective. A new treatment plan was developed, but the cancer was unresponsive to it and continued to spread. The ability for Rosa to overcome her latest challenge was out of her control.

We brought Rosa home to live out the remainder of her life surrounded by family and friends. On June 19th 2016, Rosa’s battle ended, but her impact on her friends and loved ones lives on in their memories.

Rosa was a special individual who always wanted to help others. Our Pursuit for Hope is a tribute to her passion to help others. Please keep her memories alive as you contribute to and enjoy life.