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Rachel’s Story

Hello Family and Friends,

We really don't know where to begin this story so we have decided to just start where we are at today.  Rachel has been diagnosed with a new brain tumor and will begin radiation treatments today, October 28th.  She will finish sometime mid December and then begin follow up appts with her oncology team.  We have been blessed by a fantastic team of doctors as well as a super
support team (all of you!)

We simply ask you for your prayers at this time.  Please feel free to leave Rachel messages of encouragement here as well.  I am not too technology savvy so it may take a bit for me to load any photos.  

One last note....We haven't found much to smile about these past months but when you find opportunities for laughter one must take them...when we found out today that she has a 5 hour clinic visit on Thursday, my comment and email back to our doctor was, "5 HOURS!!!  Some women have babies faster then that" (ok maybe not all women but some).  It made Rachel smile and even gigle just a bit....it was so worth it!!       

The Woell Family

Latest Journal Update

Four weeks....

Wow!  The rainbow extends from one end of Totino-Grace to the other!  Thanks Rachel!
Wow! The rainbow extends from one end of Totino-Grace to the other! Thanks Rachel!

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow it will be four weeks since Rachel’s passing.  Four weeks….can it be??  I looked at the calendar….and it is true.  So why does it feel like a lifetime ago that I last held and felt the warmth of her hand in mine?  I find myself wishing and begging God at times to have a re-do….just one more moment in time with her….where I could hold her in my arms and tell her one more time how much I love her.  To feel her arms wrap around me tight, to see her smiling back up at me with her big beautiful smile and to hear her say, she loves me too…   …and that’s just the beginning of this ‘never ending’ wish……if only…wishes came true.  

I simply just miss her….I miss every little thing about her….I miss her outlook on life, no worries mom, as she would say…she was an observer, she noticed everything….she always found something good in everything and everyone (and it never took her long to find it)….she loved life and lived it to the fullest….she was genuine and kind….funny and witty, she had the best facial expressions, she was by far the bravest and most courageous person I have ever met……she was mentally strong, she focused on her capabilities and not on her limitations….she loved to learn…..her faith was quiet yet so amazingly strong, I was in awe of her ability to love unconditionally and she did it so effortlessly as well.   You might ask yourself….did she have any flaws!!!….well…..she was a bit stubborn at times and she liked Duke (sorry Rachel!)  Through all the tears I try to find these moments of humor….it helps…   

I could go on and on….but I won’t as I would never stop….

We do want to thank everyone who came to celebrate Rachel’s life with us that Thursday or Saturday or on both days.  Thank you to all who could not be there but sent us emails, texts or cards….your presence was also felt.  Rachel continues to be remembered by so many….when we played Irondale high school just a few weeks back….both sides wore green…special t-shirts were made by the Senior class of Irondale and on the back it read…Everyday is a gift, Rachel.    They ordered t-shirts for the TG seniors as well!  How awesome is that!  Even the little half-time dancers had on green t-shirts.  We played Osseo last Wednesday…(which by the way was a fantastic game…Yea Eagles!!) Osseo wrapped their goal post in green and had a moment of silence for Rachel….how amazing is that!   Again, I could go on and on….oh the lives she touched.    

Last but not least….We have the information on the scholarship fund that has been made in Rachel’s memory….sorry it took us a bit to get finalized….     

We have established the Rachel Woell Endowment Scholarship Fund through Totino-Grace High School.  This fund will be part of the Totino-Grace endowment fund that will provide financial assistance to students who are unable to afford the full cost of tuition at Totino-Grace.  We are particularly excited about this fund as it will help to provide continuing scholarship funds to students both now and in future years.  Something that we know was important to Rachel.  For those of you interested in contributing to the fund, please send your contributions either to us or to the attention of Chris Beach, VP of Advancement, Totino-Grace High School, 1350 Gardenia Avenue NE, Fridley MN  55432.  You can also contact us or Chris if you have questions or are interested in a donation of securities.  Chris can be reached at 763.586.6315 or chris.beach@totinograce.org.  Checks should be written to Totino-Grace High School with the memo indicating the gift is for the Rachel Woell Scholarship fund.   All donations to the fund are tax deductible.

Thanks everyone for all your beautiful stories you have shared with us about Rachel, and for your continued prayers and support on this journey as well.  One last thought....if you have nothing to do tomorrow evening.....head over to TG and watch the Eagles football team take on Anoka in the first playoff game.  Rachel will be watching with a great view from above.  Go Eagles!!!    

All our love,

Jamie and Yvette

P.S.  I attached a photo of the rainbow seen the night of Rachel's visitation below too!


23 people hearted this



Tammy Hilliard
Yvette, front page of the pioneer press! WOW
You are such a good mom and excellent roll model. Rachael would be very proud of YOU!
Cindy Swanson
By cindy — last edited
Your post is so beautiful, Yvette, and imagining your pain is impossible. I ask God to guide me in what to say that might comfort you but there just are no words from me. You have such wonderful memories of Rachel and she always knew how much you and Jamie loved her.
I saw you were gone tonight and imagine you are with your TG family at the game. Rachel would have wanted that - everyone that sees you is reminded and strengthened by Rachel's love! Thanks for all the reminders.
2 people hearted this
Tammy Hilliard
By Tammy Hilliard
Wow! I have so much to say about your post, but only my iPad to do it! Which takes forever to type... I am available to meet for coffee or a walk.
First of all you, of course are right on with your description of Rachael. I had to laugh about the stubborn comment.... No idea where that came from, but to say Yvette your mother probably prayed you would have a strong willed child someday since you were 6months old!
The rainbow! Yes, Yes this is how Rachael will communicate with you now. Be ever conscious of the different ways she reaches you. There is a book, thin places which talks about those times in life when the distance between you and God is very small. He is holding you in the palm of his hand and reaching out to you through other believers and natural occurances. .
I hope you feel the love and the peace that are being sent your way. You are deeply loved.
Thank you for sharing your journey
1 person hearted this
Krista Wiemiller
By Sra. Wiemiller — last edited
Hola, Yvette and Jamie,
I think about Rachel everyday. When we celebrate the day of the week, I always remember how Rachel would participate. She is still participating with me...I can feel it. On really bad days, I often put my head down and ask Rachel to help me get through. I can feel her positive spirit (and sometimes an eye roll).

For those of us who were able to see the rainbow...WOW. That was probably the most amazing thing ever. Rachel's Rainbow...that has a nice ring to it! What a great sign to know that she will always be here in our hearts. That is not the same as holding her close, but it helps. Thank you Raquelita and our amazing God for sending us that comforting sign. I know she is watching over us...and the Eagles...and Duke...and probably the Gophers.

Love to you,
3 people hearted this
Bill Vance
By bill.vance@totinograce.org
Students continue to pray for you and Jamie and in thanksgiving for the gift of Rachel! Thanks for sharing this amazing post! Makes me think of today's first reading from Ephesians 3:14-21 . . . the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge is soooooo evident in Rachel: her love, your love for her and the love we all experience as a result!
2 people hearted this
Deb Zwickey
By Deb Z.
Dear Yvette and Jamie,
Your words about Rachel are, again, an inspiration to me. Your strength overwhelms me. Rachel will be in my heart always!!
With love and prayers, Deb
1 person hearted this
Gretchen foht
By Bob and Gretchen Foht and family
Jamie and Yvette-
Thank you for the update on the endowment fund in Rachel's honor and memory. What a wonderful tribute to her. I know Rachel will have the best seat in the house Friday night cheering on her beloved football team against Anoka. A few weeks ago on Senior night, the TG fans threw lime green streamers in the air. As they were floating through the air, they came very close to landing on the football field which could have resulted in a penalty against the Eagles. (Something called fan interference I am told) I am convinced Rachel helped those streamers over the field until they were safely on the other side of the field. Once again, she was taking care of "Her Boys". Please know that Rachel and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
1 person hearted this
Joseph Morcomb
By Joe Morcomb
What beautiful words and what an amazing tribute to Rachel in the endowment fund! I wish I had more time to know Rachel but am thankful to hear stories as I meet those she touched. Yvette and Jamie, your openness is a awesome example to the many people feeling loss and pain here at TG. Thank you for your courage to share.
1 person hearted this
Colleen ONeil
By Colleen O'Neil
Honestly. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful young lady.
Thank you for sharing her with us Yvette and Jamie. I am in awe of your strength and am inspired by you both. Hugs.
1 person hearted this
Marilyn, Chuck & Gabby Ross
By Marilyn Ross
Beautiful Yvette! Rachel touched so many people. Hugs to you and Jamie 💕
1 person hearted this