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SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Breast cancer impacts thousands of Mainers - but not every patient receives recognition from the Maine Legislature, the American Cancer Society, and thousands in the community.

Jody Vlodek Berren, 39, of Sanford, lost her seven year battle to breast cancer in January.

She has been recognized posthumously for her efforts to raise money for cancer research, and for her brave spirit fighting cancer.

She is remembered as being passionate, positive, and courageous - even as her cancer spread, in her final days.

"She was just a great person," said Fred Berren, Jody's husband of 14 years. "I think that the hand she was dealt wasn't a really favorable hand in the sense that she only lived 39 years."

Her husband said she touched many people in her lifetime. She was active in the Sanford community, went on mission trips, and was a proud mother to Colby, 11, and Brooke, 8.

Jody wanted to raise money for cancer research, and was a captain for a Relay for Life team.

"She wanted to leave an impact that resonated with people," said Fred, "so that no little boys or girls had to live without their mother."

Now her family and friends are picking up where she left off - and have a goal of raising $20,000 this year.

The family has set up a fundraising website for the York County Relay For Life on June 21.

There are Relay For Life events all over the state, and more information can be found on the American Cancer Society's page.

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