LifeIce: A Daughter’s Gift of Love Becomes a Mother’s Legacy
In 2003, at age 52, Paulette Fox’s mother, Sari, was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer, and began a 7-year battle that included continual chemotherapy, several surgeries and many complications. Sari fearlessly pursued many different treatments: neoadjuvant therapy with experimental agents; debulking surgeries; and the administration of 18 different chemotherapy drugs. She called the chemotherapy her “toxic cure.”
Then, in 2008, Sari experienced sudden seizures that led to the discovery of an unusual metastasis of her ovarian cancer to the brain. She had immediate surgery to remove the tumor, and despite a long road to recovery, with speech and physical therapy, Paulette’s mother persevered and returned to living life once again.
Two years later, however, in early summer 2010, Sari became noticeably weaker and experienced difficulty with her speech. An MRI revealed several inoperable brain metastases. Still wanting to fight this disease, Paulette’s mother elected to have radiation in hopes of seeing a positive result.
Unfortunately, Sari and her family eventually ran out of options. Sari’s ability to fight her disease had weakened due to complications, and all that was left for them to do was to find a way to make her as comfortable as possible. So, Paulette took a leave of absence from her job as a litigation attorney in New York City and moved back to her childhood home. Together with her father and sister, they respected her mother’s decision to remain at home, and not be hospitalized.
As her health worsened, Sari could no longer eat regular food. Doctors suggested giving her ice chips, as it seems many patients respond to the soothing cool crunch of ice. Paulette’s mother was no different. But, while these ice chips were hydrating her, they lacked any nutritional value. Somewhat panicked, in the family kitchen where she grew up, using a variety of fresh and healthy ingredients, Paulette began blending and then freezing flavorful batches of “nutritional ice chips.” She thought to use ice as a delivery system for the nutrition her mother so desperately needed. Sari ate those homemade nutritional ice chips – and only them – for the next few weeks. And while Paulette’s nutritional ice chips were not devised in an attempt to “save” her mother, she knew they were at least able to deliver a source of nourishment, hydration and a little bit of comfort during her last weeks. Paulette says, “Every one of those extra days was a gift that I never imagined I could give.” Sadly, in early September 2010, Paulette’s mother passed away at home and in the company of those that loved her most.
The story doesn’t end there, in fact, it was just the beginning. Several months later, in spring 2011, Paulette embarked on a solo journey halfway across the world to Bali, in search of a peaceful place to heal from her loss. It was in this quiet, beautiful setting that she developed the idea to take her homemade nutritional ice chip recipes created just for her mother, and refine them into healthy everyday icy treats for the masses. LifeIce was born.
Upon returning home, Paulette began an amazing journey as a newfound entrepreneur, learning about the unfamiliar worlds of consumer products and natural foods, always guided by her commitment, her passion, and her mother’s loving spirit. She launched LifeIce on April 24th, her mother’s birthday. “I could think of no better way to honor her memory than by making LifeIce available to the public on this special day,” Paulette continues, “Most importantly, in honor of my mother, I recognized that LifeIce could serve as a vehicle to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, starting with a partnership with Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. That’s why LifeIce isn’t just another consumer product, or even just an innovative healthy frozen treat. It will always stand for something more. LifeIce is a true legacy for my amazing, brilliant and beautiful mother, and her courageous fight.”
For more information about Paulette’s story and her company, LifeIce, please visit the website at www.lifeice.com.