Hampden church honors memory of woman who passed away from cancer

Hampden County

HAMPDEN, Mass. (WWLP) – Friends and family gathered at St. Mary’s in Hampden Saturday evening to celebrate a young life taken too soon from cancer.

“This will be a memento to her memory for years to come,” said Laurie Houle-Isham, a family friend.

A statue of the Blessed Mary now stands outside of the church, in memory of Amanda Catherine Lee of Hampden.

Amanda was only 25-years-old when she passed in July after her courageous battle with Synovial Sarcoma of the tissue. A battle that she fought hard.

“She handled everything with grace,” Laurie recalled. “Despite battling cancer, she was going to school, she wanted to be an oncology nurse and that young woman, she fought the fight and she was living life to its best.”

Bishop Robert McManus blessed the statue during the ceremony Saturday at the church where Amanda was an altar server.

“She also had a philosophy of living in the moment. And when she was well enough, she enjoyed every moment of her life,” Bishop McManus said of Amanda.

And that philosophy is now at the foot of the statue that honors her, a message her loved ones say Amanda lived by every day.

“She was just a champion. She was a warrior. She was just an amazing young woman,” Laurie told 22News.

When Amanda would talk with other cancer patients, she would tell them to plan something special once a week for themselves, whether game night with family or going on a trip.

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