Stories of Hope: Rachel Tobias

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rtobias colorRachel Tobias, a 21-year-old Florida medical student who had CRPS, died last fall. The following was read by Rachel’s mother at the funeral service.

“Rachel will always be our favorite daughter! Born with an easy-going disposition, she was, in her words, “sugar and spice and everything nice,” and always had an amazing smile on her lips, ready to share with everyone and anyone who was lucky enough to cross her path!Rachel had a zest for life and lived it to its fullest-Her Way! She truly was her own person and cared not what others thought-as she wore her mismatched sandals, little or no makeup, ate her unique diet of power bars and veggie burgers, and told the world about the best dog and love-of-her-life, Snicker Doodle. She loved to sing, and sang with exuberance, loudly, even though, as all who have heard her sing know, she probably should have toned it down a notch, as her voice was NOT her best quality. It seems as though every facebook posting we have seen spoke of Rachel’s smile, singing, and Snicker Doodle!

“She was smart and was accepted to not one, but four BA/MD programs in her quest to become a doctor and help others by, as she said, “giving back;” “Paying it Forward” was a concept in which Rachel truly believed. Her desire to become a doctor only came about as a result of her illness, CRPS, from which she suffered with intense pain, 24/7, but was so brave and hid is so well, that few could really appreciate what she was enduring. Rachel did not want to burden others, including us, her parents, and thus, hid her pain well, under her perpetual smile. She did this because she did not want others to be troubled by her pain; she got up every morning with a smile on her face and a complaint was never uttered from her lips.

“We plan to order A LOT of CRPS bracelets and would consider it a personal favor, should any of you choose to wear one in her honor, please give us a little time to get them, and then feel free to ask us for one. It is time to spread the word about this terrible illness!

“I believe Rachel’s favorite and most infamous quote was:
Time you enjoy wasting is Not wasted time…

So please, everyone, help keep Rachel’s spirit alive by living large, taking big bites out of life, enjoying every possible moment. Whenever you see a dazzling sunset or a flower of amazing color, think of Rachel, busy with her glitter glue, still trying to add some sparkle to our lives!

Continue to sing loudly (so she can hear you) and smile up at her often, for she is now, finally, at peace.

Thank you all so much for being here for Rachel and us today, and letting her know that she was truly loved by so many.”–Barbara and Ben

The Tobias family is sponsoring RSDSA’s young investigator grant in honor of Rachel.

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