Friends of Tim and the late Rachel Labatzky of Waxahachie are organizing a golf tournament in her memory. The benefit will be held Saturday, March 28, at the Old Brickyard in Ferris.

Rachel, 33, passed away Jan. 30 after battling melanoma cancer that was in stage three when it was diagnosed in May 2008.

Tim said he and their 10-year-old twin sons, Nicolas and Trevor, who are fourth graders at Felty Elementary, are grateful for the outpouring of concern by so many friends.

“I didn’t realize how many friends Rachel had until after she passed away,” he said. “And it wasn’t just her, but all of us. Often we don’t realize how many friends we have until something like this happens.”

Tim said the twins are doing “pretty good” and staying busy with their friends in school – he attributes their acceptance of their mother’s loss to Rachel and his having been upfront with them.

“When she first got sick, we never kept it from them,” he said. “She started making lists of things she wanted us to do after she was gone. I think that is what helped prepare them when the time came.”

Tim said he went through a time of questioning God about why she was taken and said it was hard for him to understand why he would do this to her.

“I’ve found comfort in the thought that (God) must have seen what she was doing here on earth for her boys and me and for others,” he said. “And I imagine he looked down here and said, ‘She’s doing such a good job down there – I need her up here to help me.’”

Rachel’s cancer was discovered when a mole appeared on her back. After the initial test, it was determined it had spread into the lymph nodes under her right arm.

In the ensuing months, she had two surgeries to remove the infected nodes and had chemotherapy for 30 days following the surgery.

“We thought it was all good to go until January,” Tim said. “But on Jan. 13, we found out the cancer had spread throughout her body, including her bones, spinal cord and organs. We were told that there was nothing that could be done for her.

“We were not given a time frame and didn’t want to know,” Tim said. “That was the darkest day of my life. But Rachel fought (the cancer) harder than ever. I always thought I was the strong one but I found out she had more heart and fight than I ever thought I had. I had prayed to remove that disease from her and give it to me to let me take the suffering away from her.”

Tim expressed his thoughts in the aftermath of the loss of Rachel.

“My beloved earthly angel is in heaven with no more pain. She will live forever in my heart and mind. I thank God for the angel he blessed me with on this earth,” Tim said, noting that the most difficult task he has ever had was the day he had to tell Nicolas and Trevor that their mother “may be in heaven soon.”

Rachel’s illness impacted the family’s financial situation and the benefit will help defray the costs that were incurred.

“Because of her condition she could not continue to work and she lost her insurance when she was let go from her job,” Tim said. “Because of all the trips to the doctor and medication and such, our funds have run very low and medical bills have continued to come in.”

The cost to enter the golf tournament two-man scramble is $100 per team or $50 for an individual. An auction and raffle will be held in conjunction with the tournament. Sponsors are needed on each of the 18 holes and tournament sponsors are needed.

Lunch, which is included with the registration, will be in the clubhouse at 11:30 a.m. with tee-off at 1 p.m.

For more information, call 469-245-9741; e-mail oldbrickyardgolf.com; or visit online at www.neverstopthefight.com.