Sara Hane Badertscher with Grandchildren

carlsbad, california. | wife. widow. aunt. mother. grandmother. librarian. event planner. volunteer. mentor.

What has been your greatest obstacle in life and how do/did you navigate it?

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, we were told that it was terminal; but the oncologist said that she was confident he would live a few more years. My husband and I took different routes in handling this news. He said that he did not want to make a big deal of it and that he did not want to tell anyone but our immediate family. I, on the other hand, wanted to talk to everyone I knew, especially those who had dealt with similar news, so that I could understand how to cope going forward.

We spent a lot of time together, as we navigated through chemo/radiation sessions and doctors’ visits. I wasn’t sure that I would have the strength to be a caregiver, but I was willing to try. After three years of treatment, the doctor finally said that there was nothing more she could do for him. Within a couple of weeks he started hospice, which meant that he would be pretty much confined to our home. Fortunately, we had family and outside help during this time, but we felt it was the right thing to do. I am so glad that we chose that route because I was able to be with him 24/7. Since he passed away, I am now learning how to live on my own for the first time in my life. Life is a challenge, and I believe that I can handle it.


What dreams and/or goals have inspired your success?

In 1970, my husband Ned and I took our first big vacation when we drove from Ohio to our destination, California. We had an amazing trip and as we were leaving California, Ned said, “Some day we are going to live there.” My cynical side said, “sure honey,” but my adventuresome side said, “I hope it is some day soon!” Two years later, we packed up our house and moved to Sunnyvale, CA, because Ned had found a position with a company in Palo Alto that needed his expertise. That was the best decision we ever made as it transformed our lives.


How do you keep moving forward?

I feel fortunate that Ned and I had 48 years together. We both used to say that we wanted to be the one who died first because we didn’t want to be left alone. Unfortunately, that is not a choice that we get to make. I am looking forward to this next phase of my life. So many innovations have occurred since I was born. I’d like to see what the future holds for my loved ones.