24-Year-Old Cancer Victim Inspires After Death

24-Year-Old Cancer Victim Inspires After Death
Photo credit:CNN

Maire Kent’s journey did not end with her death from a rare form of cancer at the tender age of 24.  The aspiring nurse had a final dream, and in the more than coincidence of life she met a filmmaker during a hospital visit who offered to do what he could to support her wish,

Maire Kent’s journey did not end with her death from a rare form of cancer at the tender age of 24.  The aspiring nurse had a final dream, and in the more than coincidence of life she met a filmmaker during a hospital visit who offered to do what he could to support her wish, and even document it.

You see Maire loved the book Paddle to the Sea about a boy who carves a boat out of wood and then lets it set sail in the Great Lakes.  So she told her family:  “Cremate me and put my ashes in a boat.  I want to go from Lake Michigan to the Atlantic Ocean.”

This was no small feat to carry out.  It would take more than her family & friends.  And that’s where filmmaker Keith Famie, who was at the time working on a documentary about people dealing with end of life issues, comes in.  He documented how the 3 1/2 foot wooden boat with her ashes made its way from Lake Michigan to the Atlantic ocean:  “The hope was that with the help of strangers, she would have her dream come true.  As it turns out, it was kind of like the Olympic torch.  People wanted to be part of this journey.”

 

In his upcoming film, Maire’s Journey,  Famie recorded the incredible lengths strangers went to ensure the small boat with its precious cargo didn’t get stuck or lost along the way.  In an interview with CNN, Famie said:  “Cancer is everybody’s story.  And Maire knew that.  Once the journey started, it was incredible watching people engage the boat.  It created a dialogue of life after death.  We knew it would resonate with people, but we had no idea it would be this strong.”

 

Maire wanted this message written on the sail of the boat:  “My name is Maire.  I died of cardiac sarcoma.  My ashes are enclosed in this boat and I am on the way to the ocean.  If you find me, please send me back on my path.  I’ll bless you from Heaven.”

 

And it is Maire who has been a blessing and inspiration even to those who never knew her.

 

CNN, 7/29/14

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