Jennifer lost her battle with cancer on Jan. 25, 2016. She was 46-years-old.
Her family have since formed the Jennifer A. Cutler Foundation and its goal is to assist families facing cancer.
Her husband, Gary Cutler, said the tea party was his mother-in-law’s idea.
When Lorna Button suggested the fundraising idea, Gary knew it would be something his wife would have liked.
The party took place on May 7, in Centerville-Wareham-Trinity, with nearly 200 people taking part.
Each table of 10 was theme oriented and laid out by the purchasers of the table. There were even butlers available to cater to the ladies every whim.
In total, the event, along with additional fundraisers brought in $4,474.
Participant Pauline Brown called it an “absolutely fabulous” event.
“To see all the women together, being here with my sisters, it’s a family-oriented occasion,” said Brown. “Everyone is touched by cancer and to have (the Cutler family) wanting to help families facing cancer is a great gesture.”
Gary said the support his family has received from people from his home community and surrounding area has been amazing.
They know this is our very first event and they have pulled together and supported me in ways I couldn’t imagine,” he said.
Another tea party is planned for June 10 in St. John’s where the Cutler family lives.
The Jennifer A. Cutler Foundation
Jennifer and Gary Cutler have a son Joshua and a daughter Alyssa.
“Jennifer’s life was her kids,” Gary said. “She did everything for them.”
Joshua is now 20, while Alyssa is 17.
Jennifer also leaves behind her father Winston Button as well as numerous other family and friends.
The goals of the Jennifer A. Cutler Foundation are clearly outlined on the foundation’s website. The aim is to help families going through active cancer treatments.
In addition to the tea parties, the foundation is moving forward with its “Just Believe Campaign.”
“Jennifer’s motto was you have to believe and you have to have faith. She told that to everybody,” Gary said.
The focus of the campaign is on not only the cancer patient, but also their family, he said.
The campaign will raise money to give a family the opportunity to create positive family moments by enjoying an all-inclusive trip to Walt Disney World, Florida.
“This campaign is not about going on a trip. It’s about what that trip does. It takes the negative out of cancer and it gives you something else to focus on,” Gary said.
Jennifer first battled breast cancer. The cancer eventually spread to her bones.
When his wife was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Gary said they had a family tripped planned. Although his first reaction was to cancel the trip, Jennifer’s doctor encouraged them to take their vacation.
“(The doctor) said going on a trip is equal to some treatment. That’s how much of an impact a trip can have,” Gary said. “We would always plan a trip for the breaks in between Jennifer’s treatment. Planning the details was always kept for treatment days.”
Gary said during his wife’s four-and-a-half year battle with cancer, her positive attitude and inspiring outlook motivated many people.
“Jennifer was just amazing. Each day she made sure she started off the day with a positive attitude,” he said. “She didn’t accept any negativity around her. If you wanted to talk to her you had to talk positively. That was her rule.”
Jennifer’s deep faith helped her live life to the fullest and make every moment special.
While she knew she was very sick, Gary said, Jennifer never gave up on life.
“She used to say, ‘I think I need a miracle now.’ I held her on her last breath and not until that last breath did she ever give up,” he said.
The foundation is Jennifer’s family’s way of moving forward in their grief and in helping keep their loved one’s memory alive.
In a testimonial on the foundation’s website, registered massage therapist Natasha Murthy writes how she feels extremely blessed that Jennifer and her family kept her involved until the last few hours.
“Jennifer was confident that her spirit would not die and prayed her body would obey… although her physical body was exhausted and had to depart,” Murthy wrote, “I truly believe her main goal was to inspire her wonderful husband and children to always believe in that which we cannot see.”
Jennifer’s message of belief will carry on through the work of the foundation.
To learn more about the foundation and its fundraisers or to contribute to the cause visit www.jenniferacutler.ca.