If you never had the pleasure of meeting Julie Lang, of Ogilvie, I am sorry, because spending even just a few minutes with her could be life changing.
Julie lived in Ogilvie, and as she was diagnosed with and battled cancer she became one of the fiercest fighters for others battling the same illness.
She inspired Kick Cancer to the Curb, a local group dedicated to raising money for local cancer patients to pay for the things health insurance doesn’t cover — like gasoline and the electric bill.
Despite her never-ending positivity and the light she shone for everyone around her, cancer took her on Jan. 2.
I only met Julie through her involvement with Kick Cancer to the Curb and other fundraising efforts. When I published a photo of her activities in the Kanabec County Times, she called to thank me as if I had moved a mountain for her.
During every interaction she ever had with me, she never treated me like a newspaper editor. She treated me like Kirsten Faurie. It seems besides her passion and her huge heart for others, the unique thing about her was she saw you, she saw you only as a person.
For example: On one of the hottest days of 2016, I went to the Relay for Life fundraising event at the Kanabec County Fairgrounds. It was hot, muggy, dusty and I was nine months pregnant. Sure, I smiled, and chitchatted, took pictures and the event was awe-worthy — but I did not want to be there.
Julie was resting on a bench when she saw me and beckoned me over. As I walked up she said something akin to, “Kirsten, it is so wonderful to see you here and I am so thankful for all the coverage in the newspaper. But, sweetheart, you gotta go home and put your feet up. Thank you, thank you, thank you, but go home.”
Talking with Julie was like talking with your mom — someone who was honestly concerned about your best welfare, no matter who you were or your past.
We are all better for having known Julie.
Julie moved mountains out of love for her community. With her gone, it is time to follow her lead.
As we grieve for Julie, let’s honor her by trying to view people through her eyes — with positivity, empathy and love.
Let’s also lift up her cause to help those battling the disease that took her life.
To donate to Julie’s Kick Cancer to the Curb charity, send checks to “Kick Cancer to the Curb” (attn. Rita Tharp, 1847 Sundet Road, Mora, MN 55051).
Kirsten Faurie is the editor of the Kanabec County Times. She can be contacted at email@example.com or by calling 320-225-5128.