Irit Spitalnik called me today. I thought we were going to have one of our usual cheery chats about the industry, her family and how life is going. Not this time. Irit told me she has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She's beginning her chemotherapy regimen tomorrow at Sloane.
When she told me this, I had the worst flashback I've had in a while. Lots of things went through my mind, including the day my mom called me at school and told me about her ovarian cancer. I thought about Irit's usual upbeat demeanor. I thought about her husband, Michael. I thought about their 14-year-old daughter. It hit me pretty hard.
If there's anyone who can beat this, it's Irit. I've never seen her down in the dumps. She's one of those people who has so much energy and positive vibes coming off her at all times that she brightens up a room. I know she'll beat this thing.
Irit let me know that she's grateful for the support she's received from her friends and family and folks in the online marketing industry. It's giving her the strength she needs to face this thing. If you want to send something to Irit, drop your e-mail address in comments and I'll send you her e-mail address and home address so you can send a card or note of encouragement.
1/13/2006 Update: I learned a couple nights ago that Irit has passed on. I've started a new thread so we can share details on funeral arrangements and share our favorite Irit stories. Link here.