I realized that I was no longer a healthy mother of four but a new resident of cancer land. I didn't speak the language or had a roadmap to help me navigate or if I would live or die.
We All Have A Story,
Here Is Mine
Parenting four children and undergoing chemotherapy, taught me to cope with adversity.
Image: I was hoping to be alive by the time my son Andy started school. He was just a baby when I was facing the unknown. Little did I know that one day we would be co-authors and co-founders of the Grief Heroes Foundation.
Hi, I'm Susan!
My mission is to continue to find ways to bridge the gap that currently exists for the 1 in 5 children who will experience the death of someone close to them by the age of 18.
Since 2013, I have developed and donated grief resources to schools and other organizations in multiple counties and states.
These resources are designed to help children understand and express their grief in ways that are part of a healthy process and to help adults communicate with them in the most supportive way.
When Susan Binau was first diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2006, she felt an overwhelming urge to leave a legacy for her four children.
This legacy took the shape of Survivor Tools: books, grief healing tools, and an online academy for patients and families facing life-threatening or terminal illnesses.
"Until the day I take my final breath, I strive to pass on hope, courage, and compassion to others."
I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer a few days after my son Andys second birthday. A large tumor had been growing inside without my knowledge
I found strength by living in the moment and by preparing myself and my children for plan B (I would not survive) being open with my children taught them to speak about difficult topics something they still use to help friends.
Being ‘spiritually tough,’ an expression my grandma used to say about me, combined with several near-death experiences, has led me to find my purpose in life: advocating for grieving children and teenagers."
What doesn't kill you can make you stronger if you decide so.
I was fortunate. I am a survivor. The day my friend Hanna, a mother of five died, I became the sole survivor of six friends who lost their battles to cancer. My heart aches when I think of their children struggling to find a way out of their labyrinth of confusion and grief.
The lack of resources for families with grieving children was shocking. This became the start of a mission that I have devoted my life to fulfill.
I want to have grief on the curriculum in Elementary schools and donate grief tools to help students from underprivileged schools cope with hardship or loss.
In 2016 a few weeks before my first grandchild, Olivia was born, emergency surgery saved my life (again).
Minutes before the surgery, I had prayed to die. Despite a body in complete agony, my mind and soul were at peace. I was so ready to check out and content with the life I had lived. My body was shutting down as they rushed me to surgery. I was no longer awake when I heard a voice loud and clear saying.
"it is not your timing; you have to empower the children, and you will come back to life after surgery."
Thankfully I didn't know how long it was going to take to heal after surgery. but it taught me about patience. And it enhanced my coping skills further.
I'm still here and living in gratitude.
I will continue to enjoy the ride & throw curveball right back at life when they happen.
With love and gratitude
Life is short, live it fearlessly