Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Champion for Children

The opening of Children International’s newest community center in Barranquilla, Colombia last week was a joyful event, but for the friends and family of Nicole Lyn Anderson, it was a bittersweet occasion.

Nicole, wife of CI Marketing Vice President, Brian Anderson, was diagnosed in March 2006 with stage four lung cancer. Nicole fought her cancer by planning events that marked her progress against the disease. Events like attending an out-of-town wedding, vacationing at the beach with family and friends, renewing her own wedding vows with Brian, the production of their son’s first CD, and attending the opening of the new community center in Barranquilla. Nicole died in October.

Nicole was an incredible champion for children. Supporting not only her own children, Lucas and Tyler, but the three children she and Brian sponsor in Barranquilla: Stephany, Carolina and Luz Marina. Brian and Tyler spent the day before the inauguration doing what Nicole would have wanted – taking the three girls shopping, a drive by the ocean and finishing the day with a visit to the zoo, complete with ice cream.

“She had an incredible impact on every child she ever met as her unstoppable energy and enthusiasm inspired them to improve their lives. It was part of her life,” said Children International President Jim Cook.

On the day of the event, there were no dry eyes as Brian spoke in tribute to his wife. Sharing her passion and zest for life, her love of Lucas and Tyler, her friends and family and of course, her love for the children in Barranquilla.

“Nicole wanted so much to be a part of their lives,” Brian said. “She wanted to make every event special, she wanted to be here for the opening of this center.”

And it was clear that she was. Nicole’s presence lingers in the center that bears her name. She’ll be here to watch as official operations begin and as the thousands of children run through the halls into medical and dental clinics, the library and youth community rooms. She will live on through each and every child that visits the center.

It is certain that Nicole will be missed, but her legacy lives on in the children whose lives she has so wonderfully touched.


Andrew said...

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful and amazing woman. Nicole will live endlessly in the hearts of all who have met her, and also now in the lives of the generations of children to come who will be assisted in this sparkling new community center.

joey said...

Nicole will be missed dearly. When I met her last year, I didn't know that she was a sponsor too. Her family's relentless effort to make a difference in the lives of impoverished children is worth emulating. I am optimistic that the community center in Barranquilla will help make each child grow into a healthy, educated and self-reliant adult.