Monday 26 September 2016

Grieving husband plants 4 miles of sunflowers to honour his late wife who died after cancer battle

Published 19/08/2015 | 13:31

Photo: Don Jaquish pictured holding his late wife's picture after planting a field of sunflowers in her honour.
Photo: Don Jaquish pictured holding his late wife's picture after planting a field of sunflowers in her honour.
Don and Babbette pictured before her death in November 2014 Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope

An American farmer who lost his wife to cancer last year has planted a four-mile stretch of land with sunflowers in memory of her life.

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Don Jaquish (65) planted nearly 400 acres of land with his wife Babbette’s favourite flowers after she lost her six-year-long battle with cancer in November at the age of 66.

Don, from Wisconsin Illinois, spent a week planting the flowers in honour of his late wife and plans to donate the profits from sunflower seeds towards cancer research.

“She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside,” Don told ABC News.

“She got to be known as the sunflower lady of the community.

“So after she passed away, I thought it would be a tribute to her to plant 4.5 miles of sunflowers on each side of Highway 85.”

Don and Babbette pictured before her death in November 2014 Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Don and Babbette pictured before her death in November 2014 Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Photo: Don Jaquish pictured holding his late wife's picture after planting a field of sunflowers in her honour.
Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope

The field of sunshine took 75 days to grow and bloom.

Read more: Family walks 4000 miles to Disney World in memory of their daughter (8) who lost battle with cancer

Babbette was Don’s second wife and he revealed that he was lucky to have been married to her for 14 years.

“Everyone that ever met Babbette fell in love with her,” Don said.

“I was just lucky enough to be the guy that she fell in love with.”

During her battle Babbette was vocal about her support for clinical trials and their importance in scientific research. During her six-year battle with multiple myeloma she took part in 22 clinical trials in the hope for a cure.

“She realized the importance of research in clinical trials. She went from being expected live two weeks to two months to nine years,” said Don.

“Her attitude was everyday I can stay alive I’m one day closer to a cure.”

Photo: Don Jaquish pictured holding his late wife's picture after planting a field of sunflowers in her honour.
Photo: Don Jaquish pictured holding his late wife's picture after planting a field of sunflowers in her honour.
Don and Babbette pictured before her death in November 2014 Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope
Photo via Babbette's Seeds of Hope

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One month after her death Don and Babette’s daughter Jenny White set up a company in her honor, Babbette’s Seeds of Hope.

“I think she would be smiling,” Don said.

“We had an amazing response. We’ve had people all over the world send emails.”

“I hope that eventually we can find a cure for cancer, so other families don’t have to go through what we have,” said Don.

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