Carol Donnell – In Memoriam. Carol Maree Donnell died June 7, 2005, at her home after a 2½-year battle with GIST. A resident of Auckland, New Zealand, she helped advanced cancer research by participating in an Australian trial of the Pfizer drug Sutent. Carol was born June 6, 1957 in Auckland, the second daughter of Pat and Phil. She was exceptional at sports and would develop into a top badminton, squash and tennis player. Her first marriage at 18 was blessed with two sons, Paul and Mark. When her marriage ended, she went through a lonely and difficult time. Carol met Roger when he was transferred to the bank where she worked. If it wasn’t love at first sight it was pretty close; they were married 10 months later in November 1987. Roger introduced Carol to God and they started attending Northwest Baptist Church in 1992. Shy by nature, Carol’s desire to serve God was stronger than her timidity. She started off by helping in the Sunday school and ended up leading music at the church, singing in front of up to 300 children a week and their parents and caregivers. “Carol loved what she did and she genuinely cared for the children and their families and her helpers,” said Debbie, Carol’s friend of 13 years, at her funeral. “She encouraged others to develop their gifts of service. too. “My four oldest children each had very important tasks as helpers. It didn’t matter how small the job was — a 4-year-old handing out lollipops, a 12- year-old who laid out the biscuits and dried dishes, a 10-year-old who did the overhead and music and an 8-year-old who handed out the drinks. All were made to feel that they had a very important part to play in the running of the session. “You see, Carol’s greatest gift wasn’t singing or dancing. It was encouragement. It was the ability to make people feel important and special and loved. Carol saw the potential in people and helped them reach that potential. She had the ability to make people believe in themselves.” In March 2004 Carol spoke at her church, talking frankly about her cancer. She told how she gained strength from the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the book of Daniel, how they refused to worship a statue and were threatened with being thrown into a blazing furnace. They responded by saying their God could save them from the fiery furnace. But even it He didn’t, they told the king they would not worship the golden image. “For me,” Carol said, “cancer is like being thrown in the furnace. Most of the time I can feel God’s arms around me and I can’t feel the flames. But sometimes, I do feel the flames of grief and despair and sadness. “I know God can heal me, and if that happens, praise Him, but if He chooses to take me to heaven, where I will be healed, He is still my God.” She was the wonderful and loving wife of Roger, and a caring mum to Paul, Mark, Rebecca and Aimee-Rose; a treasured sister to Jenny, Rosemary, Jane and Andrea; sister-in-law of Len, Bryan, Dave and Jason, loved aunty of Sarah, Sam, Frazer, Max, Ben and Oliver, dearly loved daughter of Pat and Roy. Roger says Carol left behind a memories book for each daughter with photos and her memories of what each photo meant to her. “Carol also left a book to each girl in which she had written her favorite Bible verses, quotes and poems, and another book in which she had written the girls’ favorite recipes.” Services were held June 10 at Te Atatu Baptist Church in Auckland.