Oct 7, 2021 – When Allison Fawcett died 11 years ago this week at age 32, after punching away at the disease for eight long years, Bladt felt like part of her had died. Her feelings of loss intensified, spiraling out of control from grief, to anger, to joylessness, to ultimately complicating matters by trying to blunt the pain with alcohol.

She traveled most of America and parts of the world hoping to outrun the pain, but learned grief is a clever stowaway. 

Four years ago, and just a few days before the seven-year anniversary of the former and beloved Groveland Elementary School teacher’s death, Bladt found the strength to embrace sobriety. A 12-step program helped down here. So, too, did recalling the will to survive exhibited by a sister now up there. “I came to a point in my life where I thought, What would Allison do?” said Bladt, who grew up in Lansdale and lives in Sedona, Arizona, where she works for the local Humane Society. “I started to remember just how hard she fought to live and it put me on the right path. I came to a place in my mind where I decided to change, to have a life that would make her proud. I just had to.

“Instead of falling in a gutter, I traveled a lot in the months before I got sober. But I was miserable wherever I went. I couldn’t enjoy the beauty of waking up in a national park or on a medical mission to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India. I couldn’t live with the pain of grief so I drank until drinking caused more suffering, not less. “Allison would have done anything to be here,” Bladt said. “I just couldn’t keep going down that road. Just thinking about her, how she fought to live but couldn’t because of cancer, changed me. It took we a while, but I’ve gotten there, and it’s because of Allison. We couldn’t save my sister, but she saved me.”


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