ORTIZ email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-12 published
Cheryl Louise GLOGOWSKI
By Doris GRANT Wednesday, February 12, 2003, Page A22
Graphic designer, wife, daughter, sister, friend, lover of birds. Born September 7, 1960, in Scarborough, Ontario Died June 22, 2002, in North Sydney, Nova Scotia of cancer, aged 41.
Cheryl, the eldest of three children, was the daughter of Marilyn and Arthur ORTIZ. From an early age, she nurtured things: at first insects and butterflies, then cats, birds, animals and always, people. She was instinctively kind.
Cheryl's love of nature developed in the summers spent with her parents and brothers at their Algonquin Park cabin. Her younger brother, Adrian, remembers Cheryl teaching him about the forest and its creatures. The two loved to lie and listen to the wind they relished the meals their mother cooked over open fires.
Cheryl inherited artistic gifts from her father and created works from nature at an early age. Family members treasure her fine pencil-and-ink drawings of animals and birds.
Cheryl attended the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and worked there until she met Troy GLOGOWSKI, the man who became her beloved husband. She, along with her two Siamese cats and her horse, moved to Troy's native Cape Breton. They were married in North Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1990 and the pair bought a home in the Barrachois hills outside North Sydney, where Cheryl was in her element feeding the wild birds and animals.
When Cheryl and Troy built an addition to their home, they included a bird room and Cheryl acquired birds such as budgies, cockatiels, rosellas, macaws and her special African grey parrot, Cosmo. People began bringing her sick or unwanted birds and she never turned them away. "They call me the bird lady now," she would say proudly. Over the years, five macaws were left in Cheryl's care, and just a few weeks before her death, she took in a budgie.
She worked as secretary at St. Matthew Wesley United Church in North Sydney and then moved to ESP Graphics where she applied many of her artistic skills. "I can do anything with these two hands," she always said, and over the years she proved it. She was a self-taught computer whiz.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, Cheryl determined from the outset to beat the disease by educating herself. Unfortunately, the disease metastasized, but she continued her self-education and, with the help of her doctors, tried new medications and alternative medicines. In the end, doctors said, she lived much longer than most with her type of cancer.
Cheryl joined the local breast-cancer support group. Her knowledge and attitude encouraged others to take control of their illness. The group launched its own Dragon Boat to race last year and hoped Cheryl could paint the dragon's eye -- the symbol of its spirit and life. However, Cheryl was too ill.
In September 2001, Cheryl and Troy realized their dream of visiting her brother Ron in Australia. They dove into the Great Coral Reef and marvelled at what they saw. She wrote home that it looks like a spectacular, underwater garden.
Last March, Cheryl flew home to Ontario for Easter with her family, and Ron joined them from Australia. Ron returned with Cheryl to North Sydney for a week, taking her to her treatments and doctor's appointments as each member of the family had over the previous five years.
Cheryl possessed a strong Christian faith and she leaned on it to the end.
Cheryl was buried on a spectacular, summer day with birds singing in the clear, blue, Cape Breton sky.
Cheryl would be happy to know that large numbers of birds continue to visit her feeders at her home in Barrachois.
Doris GRANT is Cheryl's godmother. She wrote this with help from Marilyn ORTIZ, Cheryl's mother.
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