FOREST LAKE, Minn. -- A Forest Lake woman is finding new hope this holiday season after losing both her son and husband over a difficult last couple of years.
"I feel like I have turned the corner. That life is looking better," said Trisha Jensen at her home on Friday.
The Jensen family journey began on March 18, 2010. Doctors diagnosed their then 7-year-old son, Nathan, with an inoperable tumor on his brain stem. But just months into Nathan's battle, Trisha's husband, Troy, died suddenly of an asthma attack.
But the family's year didn't end with those dramatic and heartbreaking events. After Nathan's diagnosis -- and before Troy's death -- Trisha learned she was pregnant. On May 18, 2011, Nathan welcomed his baby sister, Rebecca. Two months later, he died.
"A part of my heart is forever missing," Trisha said, but she added, "Time does not heal all wounds. Time gives you time to learn how to live with what happened."
BEGINNING TO HEAL
Today, Trisha's family, including her 7-year-old daughter, Allie, and now 18-month-old Becca are finding new life. Trisha's even found new love in a boyfriend named Ray.
"It took me a while to learn to be happy again and to learn to not expect bad things," she said, adding "I'm very thankful to have him in my life and in my girl's life."
Trisha says the family will forever have a place for Troy and Nathan.
"I just hope I can live my life in a way that honors their memory," she said.
But Troy is living on in more ways than one. After his death, he became a tissue donor, ultimately helping about 80 people all over the country.
"They truly are the best in all of us," said Richard Haliburton with American Donor Services.
American Donor Services and Bacterin is honoring Troy's donation with a "Floragraph" portrait of Troy that will appear on the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Trisha, Allie and Troy's parents will travel to Pasadena to see the parade first-hand, compliments of American Donor Services and Bacterin.
"This is a small gesture. I don't think you can ever say thank you enough," Haliburton said.
For more information on the Donate Life float, just go to: www.donatelifefloat.org.
For more information about American Donor Services, go to: www.americandonorservices.org
And for more information about one organization continuing to honor Nathan, go to: www.westernwishes/midwest.org
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