My story about Jenni Reiling, who died Jan. 2, 2011 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 48, was featured in the SW Weekly section of The Oregonian  on February 19, 2011. Here is the story and the link at the end to the online version.

Jenni Reiling called Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Bend “heaven on earth.” The Wilsonville mom of four spent many of her days volunteering at the nonprofit ranch, which rescues horses and uses them for therapy with children. She also led others there on trips to volunteer.

When pancreatic cancer made her unable to travel the 162 miles to see the horses, the staff of Crystal Peaks brought her favorite to her Wilsonville living room.

Courtesy Mark Reiling

After she died last month at the age of 48, mourners sent remembrances that totaled nearly $10,000. Crystal Peaks received $2,500; another nonprofit, The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International, received $7,450.

Reiling’s memorial service at Tualatin‘s Rolling Hills Community Church drew more than 1,000, estimated Bill Colton, the pastor who officiated.

“Jenni was a woman of passion, with boundless energy, steadfast determination and a personality that demanded your attention,” Colton said. “I am glad that Jenni took all that passion, all that energy, all that determination and all that personality and became a servant who channeled it all into eternally important things, primarily family.”

Reiling was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2003. She underwent treatment, but the cancer returned in June 2009. In September 2009, she learned she also had pancreatic cancer.

Her husband, Mark Reiling, said, “The support we got from family and friends and the church and the community was amazing, from the time she got sick until her passing. It took us by surprise.”

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