On July 20, 2008, my sixth wedding anniversary, I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. My world changed in an instant. This is my story.
Cambridge, New York and Billings, Montana
Terri Ann Witham, 44, of Cambridge, NY and Billings, Mont. went home to be with her Lord July 15, 2012 after a four-year fight with ovarian cancer. Her husband held her hand as she stepped into the arms of her beloved Jesus just as Terri had desired. Terri was an inspiration to many people during her illness. She repeatedly exceeded medical expectations and credited God with miraculously extending her life several times during her disease. Born Monday, July 1, 1968 in Rochester, NH, Terri was the daughter of Robert James Rozell of Cambridge and the late Arlene Matthews Rozell who passed March 25, 2012.
Terri lived in Whitehall for much of her life, graduating from Whitehall High School in the class of 1987. Terri raised her children in Whitehall, volunteered as an EMT with Skenesborough Rescue Squad, and attended the Whitehall Baptist Church.
Terri worked in health care until her illness prevented her from working. Terri worked as an emergency medical technician, nursing assistant, hospital technician, dialysis technician, and home care aide. At the time of her diagnosis, Terri had completed three years of course work toward her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology through Judson College (Alabama Baptist Women's College) in Marion, AL. Terri at first planned to use her education to help people with Alzheimer's Disease and their families, but later changed her interest to social work with cancer patients and their families. She also planned to pursue mission work among the poor in Africa with her husband, Robert.
Terri met her husband, Robert, in an ambulance at the first Cambridge Balloon Festival where they both volunteered. Several months later they were both on an ambulance crew sent to assist with the rescue operation in New York City following the 9-11 attacks. Their time in NYC, including being stationed at Ground Zero, strengthened their relationship. Terri and Robert were married at Shekinah Farm in Cambridge on July 20, 2002.
In 2008, they moved to Montana to spend time with Robert's children. Terri worked on a ranch in Lodge Grass, Mont. while her disease was briefly in remission. She also volunteered in the children's ministry at her church as she was able. Terri made many close friends in Montana, including her church family at Billings Vineyard Church. The help and prayers of her church friends helped to sustain Terri while she was away from home as her illness progressed. Terri returned to Cambridge in May to be with her family after stopping treatment.
Along with her husband and father, Terri is survived by two sons, Michael R. Gordon and his fiancee, Sarah Salvatore, both of Whitehall, and Timothy A. Gordon and his wife, Sarah, of Ft. Drum, NY; a granddaughter, Kylie B. Gordon, of Ft. Drum, NY; stepchildren Jonathan M. Witham, Julianne R. Witham, Joshua R. J. Witham and Jacob D. Witham of Worden, Mont.; a twin sister, Tammi Gebo, and her husband, John, of Cambridge; a brother, Scott Rozell, and wife, Rebecca, of Whitehall; several nieces and nephews and the Witham Clan - her husband's loving family. Terri was also predeceased by her nephews, Dominick and Kain.
Terri and her family wish to express their gratitude to Washington County Public Health and Hospice for the outstanding care and assistance provided to Terri and her family during this difficult time. Sincere thanks are also extended to the many people who helped make it possible for Terri to return to Cambridge to be with her family. For those wishing to remember Terri in a special way, the family requests donations be made to Friends of Hospice, 415 Lower Main St., Hudson Falls, NY 12839.
Read excerpts from Terri's journal here.
Copyright © Terri Witham 2012. All Rights Reserved. Site designed and maintained by Robert Witham.