Sande's youngest sisters, Susan Mongue and Jennifer Gustafuson

Hi, my name is Tina Lawrence, my husband Steve and our kids, Jessi and Adam are part of a team that, for now, we are calling ourselves… “Sande is Smiling”. Our team was created in honor of my mom, Sande Seibel.

Sande Seibel My mom was diagnosed in late November-December 2008 with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. After her most courageous battle, 22 months later, she passed. She was 63 years old when she passed – taken way too soon. There are so many ways to describe my mom. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, and  nurse as well as was my best friend and a true friend to many others. She was the most strong, supportive, kind person you would meet. We are all so lucky to have known her and to have learned from her.

A year after my mom passed, two of her sisters, Susan Mongue and Jennifer Gustafson along with Jen’s daughter Kelly, discovered “Laura’s Smile Mile” – they were absolutely amazed and called to include more of us from the family. Last year in  2013, we joined them for our first ever at any 5K run/2 mile walk ☺…..I was so nervous because I am not a runner and I am a very leisurely walker….we walked away from this event feeling so humbled that we did it… a feeling hard to describe.

Sande's grandchildren Jessi and Adam with great-grandma Marian Mongue

Last year Marian Mongue (Sande’s mother) was able to join us too along with a few family friends! Our team was 13 people strong. Two team members, Robyne and Janelle Gerds, ran while the rest of us walked. Our team wasn’t on a race that day – we not only came together to honor my mom but for those who have lost their battle and for so many who are hitting their battle head on!! Everyone at this event was so friendly. It is truly an amazing event to be part of. We are hoping to participate for many years to come! This year all are able to return with a few new family members and friends joining in. We do hope to become better and bigger each year!! Last year we had some homemade T-shirts that my daughter and I made, which we will be wearing again this year. But in the years to come, you will have to come find us and see what we have thought of ☺
As for our team name, trying to narrow down so many fabulous memories of our mom-sister isn’t easy, which is why I am saying you may see us in the future sporting a new name. But until then, we are imagining that as we live our day-to-day lives and as we come together to honor her, that “SANDE IS SMILING” down on us!! She will be always in our thoughts and forever in our hearts!

Sande is Smiling team crossing the finish line