She was witty, warm, and lit up a room. Coworkers and clients alike loved her, and many of us were privileged to call her a friend. She was Sue Green, the program coordinator of JF&CS Healthy Families. She was generous with her friendship, her sense of humor, her skills – and sometimes with facing unpleasant realities. In 2009, when she was awarded the Stephen M. Cahn Award for Excellence in Human Services from the Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund, she stood up in front of a distinguished audience and calmly announced that she had been battling ovarian cancer since 2000, and by giving her this award, had people heard something from her oncologist that he hadn’t told her?
For those who believe in the metaphor of cancer as something to be battled, Sue was a warrior. One of her favorite compliments was when her son Jeff told her, “Mom, you do cancer like a Viking.” When Jeff and his sisters Annie and Elizabeth followed up by tracking down a Viking hat, complete with blonde braids, Sue loved it and wore it proudly. She worked through multiple relapses of cancer, mentoring those she supervised and helping her clients – young parents – become better parents. She helped us all become better people for having known her.