Mary's Circle of Hope The Mary Maguire Foundation
Our History

Mary Maguire Riopelle

A woman of strength

Mary was an intelligent, active, beautiful, talented and loving person who graced the lives of all who knew her. A professional musician and mother of 11 children, she lived her 82-years guided by her faith and by the golden rule: 'treat others as you would like to be treated.' Mary also saw to it that all of her children understood and lived this principle.

The Riopelle children practiced this principle throughout their mother’s illness, rallying around her during the difficult times. They allowed their mother to focus on her health and recovery by attending to the many responsibilities of everyday life: cooking, doing laundry, running errands, and accompanying her to her many appointments.

It was during this period that something very important became evident to Mary and her family: not all women have family members to care for them and not all women have access to resources to assist them during their fight against cancer.

This revelation was one of the reasons The Mary Maguire Foundation was created. Mary’s daughter, Maureen, wanted to ensure that, regardless of a woman's personal situation she would have the support and resources needed to concentrate on what was most important: getting well. Dedicating the effort to the woman who instilled in so many the desire to help and respect others was an obvious and celebrated decision.

A Difficult History

Unfortunately, Mary’s family has lived for years in the shadow of cancer. The disease has plagued the past three generations of the Maguire Riopelle family – and until recently - with devastating effects. Three of four grandparents died from cancer: Anna Marie Riopelle and Dr. Roderick Maguire from acute lymphocytic leukemia and Lee Maguire from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Mary herself fought CLL courageously for 12 years. She died in June of 2001. But it was her life rather than her death that defined Mary Maguire. Mary lived with grace, dignity, love and lots of humor while she underwent treatments for CLL. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Ten months after Mary's death, in April of 2002, Tracey Riopelle O'Leary, Mary’s daughter and the mother of four, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of CLL. Tracey underwent a new treatment protocol and as of today is in complete remission and is doing great.

In August of 2002, eldest son Jack Riopelle was diagnosed with melanoma. Fortunately, surgery successfully removed the cancer and Jack has since had no recurrences.

In December of 2003, Maureen Riopelle, the youngest of the 11 children, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Maureen underwent nearly a year of treatments and today is doing fine and has celebrated her five-year post-diagnosis anniversary.

Hope for the Future

Maureen, with the support of the entire Maguire Riopelle family, have established The Mary Maguire Foundation to ensure that a legacy of Help, Healing and Hope will result from their battles with cancer.

In memory of Rheo R. Riopelle, the man who helped start it all. We Miss you Pops!

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