“Tracey’s journey was a wonderful, almost magical time; she lived more in 12 years than most people could say that they did in a lifetime. She made every day an adventure – whether we were dancing at midnight on the North Pier in Chicago or simply having a drink in front of a firepit – her smile was magic. She was my fairy princess and she made me not want to grow up, to stay with her forever. But that time has ended, precious items cannot last forever, that’s what makes them special,” Mr. Shimer added.
“Her work and legacy will live on with friends, with family and with the CTBTA. The people she helped, the hundreds of families affected by brain tumors, are the largest reason why she lasted as long as she did. It gave her purpose and drove her to make change happen with whatever little time she had left.”
Unsurprising to anyone who knew her, Tracey decided before her death to write her own obituary “so my amazing husband Greg doesn’t have to do this alone.” The obituary was its own celebration of the life she lived and those she was able to help, and included the following:
“In my lifetime, I was a model, Broadcast Journalist, Advertising Manager, writer, daughter, sister, mother, stepmother, friend and lover. I was lucky enough while I was alive to climb the Great Pyramids of Egypt, pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, sail thru the Panama Canal, go dog sledding in Alaska, dance in the streets in New Orleans, walk countless miles exploring New York City, see the Eiffel Tower and have a real King fall in love with me… and marry Greg, my knight in shining armor. Ever since being diagnosed with Brain Cancer in 2006, I have lived the best life!”
Tracey, who was 48 at the time of her passing, co-founded the CTBTA after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2006 and being told she had three to five years to live. Resolute to help others and to try and bring comfort to the lives of brain tumor patients and their loved ones, the CTBTA was created in 2007 and Tracey became a tireless advocate for advances in brain tumor treatment and a potent patient advocate.
Tracey Gamer Fannings YouTube Channel featuring the “Brain Tumor Bitch”