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Daughter remembers mother as fighter

June 18, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Just two days after Tammy Day succumbed to cancer, her 18-year-old daughter was thinking about the Chambersburg woman's legacy and quietly said that she hopes others see her mother's bravery and generosity endure.

"She definitely was a fighter. I hope, as I get older, more people will see my mom in me," Megan Day said Sunday.

Tammy Day, 37, fought cancer for two years, persevering to see Megan graduate from Chambersburg Area Senior High School. In May, she did just that with a small, private ceremony in their Highland Road home.

"I know I won't see her graduate college, or see her get married, or have children," Tammy Day told The Herald-Mail that day. "She was my will to live. My husband and my other daughter, too," she said.

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Tammy Day was unable to attend the high school's formal ceremony June 8, but Megan Day joined her classmates that evening. The teenager soon will begin classes at Harrisburg (Pa.) Area Community College in hopes of becoming a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics, a career choice that made her mother proud.

Tammy Day asked her oldest daughter to care for the house and family, passing along advice on how to live without her.

"She told me and my sister to hug each other and say that we love each other every day," Megan Day said. Her sister, Sarah, is 16.

Chemotherapy and radiation initially helped Tammy Day, but the cancer returned and spread. The last couple of months had dramatic ups and downs in her health.

"At the end, she really wasn't herself. She was very confused a lot, so that's when we knew," Megan Day said.

Tammy Day lived a month longer than doctors thought she would.

"There were lots of times when we didn't think she'd make it through the day and the doctor would come, but she'd do a 360 (turnaround) in 15 minutes," Megan Day said.

"I think it was her will. She didn't want to give up," she said.

Now, with a funeral scheduled for Tuesday, Megan Day is already thinking about how she can live like the woman she so strongly resembles physically. She knows others were touched by her mother's strength.

"I know she won't be forgotten by many people," she said.

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