Erica Roberts remembers her father telling her and her brother from a very early age how important it was to surround themselves with positive influences.
William Preston Roberts, Jr. (known as Tipps to family and friends) was that positive influence on Erica, brother Preston, and a community that loved him. William died from neuroendocrine cancer in 2016, after an eight -year struggle with the disease.
“He never looked really sick, so no one knew he was battling cancer, but my dad fought every day to stay alive,” said Erica.
My dad had a HUGE heart – and he loved his work as a mentor at a local correctional facility. My parents instilled in us very early on the value of giving back, so I’ve always been as generous as I can be with charitable pursuits; once my dad was diagnosed, I decided to channel my charitable budget to a monthly gift to NETRF.
Her family also holds an annual walk each Thanksgiving in honor of her dad. “We raise money for NETRF and hope to continue to increase awareness, participation and giving over time. I donate to remember him and in hopes that a cure will be found so that another daughter doesn’t have to lose her dad in the same way I lost mine.”
“I’m so pleased to learn that some of NETRF’s research monies were awarded to Dr. Bibb at The University of Alabama, Birmingham – that is where my dad received the most compassionate and comprehensive care during his NET journey.”
“Anything that I have done, and any impact I have made, in support of NETRF is because of the lessons he taught me,” Erica says. “I am evidence that my dad was here and that his life mattered.”
Since losing her dad and then living through the isolation and challenges of the pandemic, Erica took the time to refocus her professional life and pursue her creative side.
“I think the pandemic taught us so many lessons about life/work/family balance and flexibility and it helped me realize that I also have a strong creative side that I needed to nurture, so I started my own custom stationary business. I think expressing myself through design and working in a dynamic space, where law can be very static, has really helped me in my grieving process and I know my dad is proud of me.”
“I can’t give a lot, but I give what I can, and I’ll continue to use this donation to remember my dad’s incredible life.”