She was a friend to all - whether she knew you 5 minutes or 5 years, it was the little things Patti did and said that showed you she treasured the relationship.  Whether it was a hug in the hallway on a bad day, a card in the mail for your birthday, or dinner brought to your house to welcome you to the neighborhood, she made sure everyone knew they were loved.

This passion for life and ability to make a difference with those she came in contact with did not falter, despite the diagnosis of uterine cancer.  She took everything in stride.  Chemotherapy and radiation were now just another part of the daily routine, another challenge life was throwing at her and she was not going to back down.  And in August of 2004, she would share with all those around her that she had beaten it - she was in remission.

But when complications arose and doctors told her the cancer was back and more aggressive than before, it was the people in whose life she has made an impact that helped carry her through the last 6 months of her life.  Those friends and family members that she had done so much for were now there to help her with laundry, rides to the doctor and pharmacy, and to sit by her side when she needed someone to lean on.

​It is from that experience that our family seeks to be a support for other families affected by cancer.  Our vision is simple, but our goals are lofty.  We want to make a difference in the lives of families supporting their Renegade.  We want to provide them hope and avenues to fully recover.

Who is the Mama Bear??

      From the left: Mike Graves, Patti Graves, Kris Graves, and David Graves.

"The purpose of life is... to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one knew the meaning of this saying better than Patti Graves.  With more friends than she could count and family close by, the road she would travel was never empty.  Her ability to take on anything the world threw her way, inspired people to jump on board with her and help in anyway they could.

In fact, it was with the help of friends and family that enable Patti to pursue her dream and become a teacher.  In her more than 10 years of teaching, Patti touched the lives of hundreds of children and families.  Students loved her, staff admired her - her energy and enthusiasm was contagious.  She was a leader, a confidante, and a mentor.

She loved teaching but her true passion in life was her three energetic boys.  Her very existence was devoted to raising them and as a single mom, she was the go-to person.  She was the ultimate sports mom - she never missed a game, always brought snacks (for the team and most people in the stands), and her tell-tale cheer could be heard for miles around.  She could do it all - cook enough food for the boys and all their friends while making sure uniforms were washed for the big game that weekend, helping with homework, and finding out what was new in the life of each child surrounding her table.

The mama bear foundation, inc.

            - CARING for families affected by cancer -