Cricket Fund honors “beautiful spirit” with a “beautiful cause"

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 10:42 AM.

Hicks believed it is important to provide a fund like The Cricket Fund.

“There are lots of women without health insurance and women are bad about putting themselves last,” she said. “If they have an extra $200, they won’t spend it on a mammogram for themselves; they will spend it on food, electricity, clothes for their children.”

Like many others, Hicks was also inspired by Cricket’s strength.

“My husband worked with Cricket’s father and my brother was close to her,” she said, adding she got to know Russell after her diagnosis. “She was full of life and tried to make everyone feel better about her situation. Even on her worst days, she still had a huge smile on her face.”

Joe and MaryAnn Russell described their daughter with words such as “fun-loving” and “carefree”, “beautiful inside and out.”

“People would gravitate to her; her smile was contagious,” MaryAnn said. “She never met a stranger, and she was always willing to help people.

“She was attending Gulf Coast State College and was studying to be a nurse when she was diagnosed. She was very close to her grandparents – called them ‘G & P’ for Granny and Pop – they have some health issues, so she wanted to be able to help them.”

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