Linda Svoboda, the mother of our co-founder, Marchauna Rodgers, went home to be with Jesus on Monday, August 6, exactly two months after Linda learned she had Stage 4 Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. It was a brutal two months, as the cancer ravaged her body and took her from her family a little more each day.
Although MAMO wasn’t founded until two years ago, the heart behind it can be traced, in part, to Marchauna’s mom. When Marchauna said she wanted to be a nurse as a 6 year old girl, Linda made sure Marchauna got a child-sized nurse’s uniform. When Marchauna wanted to go to nursing school, Linda made sure Marchauna got the high school classes she needed, and helped get her registered for college. Linda was the one who encouraged her with her homework, and helped cheer her on when she needed cheering. Linda helped pin on Marchauna’s RN pin at her graduation, encouraged her as she applied for jobs, and celebrated when Marchauna got hired at Sacred Heart. It was her mother’s example of loving others well that prompted, in part, Marchauna’s passion for the Golden Rule.
When Marchauna went to Africa, Linda was so excited for her. Linda sent Marchauna to Africa the first time and knew how Marchauna longed to return. When MAMO was launched, Linda was an early and enthusiastic supporter. And with each subsequent trip, Linda was quick to look at photos and hear stories.
Shortly after the diagnosis, as the family was processing what the future would hold, Marchauna asked her mom about a memorial fund, to help educate teachers in Uganda. Linda said, “I think I’d like that.” Little did we know it would be established so quickly.
Linda was a high school teacher, homeschooled her children, and loved to teach those who came across her path. Helping educate teachers seems like a very appropriate way to honor her memory. The memorial fund will help not only educate new teachers, but will also be available to help advance the education of current teachers, helping ensure that teachers in the schools MAMO is supporting are as well educated as they can be.
If you want to contribute to the Linda Svoboda Memorial Teachers’ fund, please follow this link and put “Linda Svoboda Memorial Fund” in the comments.