On Sunday afternoon, April 18, 2010, Nadia Van Camp passed away peacefully after her long and courageous battle with breast cancer. Nadia had been fighting breast cancer for more than eight years from the time she discovered her first tumor.

This is a far too common story with too many women continuing to fight as hard as Nadia did. So many who have found a way to look past their disease and focus on what's meaningful in life. So many who have been an inspiration to their loved ones and all those around them.

With this as a backdrop, Nadia's Gift Foundation was launched on Nadia's 50th birthday in April 2009. Founded by Nadia's husband Peter, Nadia's Gift was created out of the inspiration that Nadia and those like her provide. It was created to try to find meaning and make sense out of what Nadia faced every day for nearly a decade.

Although Nadia’s tumor was quite small when it was first discovered, she knew it would have significant impact on her life and the lives of those close to her. Nadia had lost her mother and two of her aunts to breast cancer. Through genetic testing, Nadia's pre-disposition to this disease was confirmed, which presented very high odds of this life altering event and its ensuing recurrence.

Attacking the disease as aggressively as she could, Nadia spent six hours on an operating table as a double mastectomy and prophylactic oophorectomy were performed. This was followed by many weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. In the process, however, she also learned of lymph node involvement, which became the pathway for future metastasis that she continued to fight every day. Over the course of time, Nadia had brain surgery to remove a mass on her cerebellum and two procedures of radio surgery to contain other brain lesions determined to be inoperable. She also had numerous direct spinal infusions to address tumors that developed there, which became ineffective over time resulting in an intensive daily course of whole brain and spine radiation for six straight weeks. Additionally, Nadia endured ongoing chemotherapy to manage a metastasis in her liver and a reoccurrence in her brain. Partial disability resulted from the brain and spine involvement and the treatments themselves.

Through all of this, Nadia never really flinched. She never lost her incredible smile, never lost her ability so readily to laugh with and love her family and many close friends. And she always found a way to bring her husband joy every day.

Nadia’s amazing spirit continues to inspire us all.