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Get to know our founder.
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The Ada Cottrell Foundation was founded mainly because of the tough experience our founder went through in 2018 — when her beloved husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

The dreadful news shocked the entire family as Robert, her husband, was a very healthy man who enjoyed running in marathons, triathlons, joining the Iron Man event, swimming, and earning a bunch of awards throughout his lifetime. Robert was a retired lieutenant from the Navy and continued to work at John Hopkins. He also applied to a physics lab as an electrical engineer. He loved science and was a volunteer in teaching Robotic and Python programs at Wilde Lake High School in Howard County.

They were a happy family with a 5 and a half years old daughter. They were married for 8 beautiful years and enjoyed each day with smiles and laughter.

When they went through the cancer treatment for Robert, nothing worked on his body as the cancer cells were already mutating rapidly.

Every time she took her husband to chemotherapy treatment, they witnessed people who were coming alone, with no help while pushing their walkers, and fighting day by day for their lives. This broke her heart and she realized that she has to do something for these people. However, during that time, she was also going through the same with her husband and was helpless to those people.

Her husband died after 9 months of diagnosis. He passed away 3 days before their daughter’s 6th birthday. And they will never forget that day when they had to watch the cardiac monitor and his heart rate drop from 100 to 0 within 3 minutes.

The last thing Robert told them was, “Honey, you will be okay.” It was what he was saying all time she tried encouraging him to eat and do something. Robert saw the worry that she had and he kept encouraging her. Their daughter became the strongest backbone for her. Their daughter was still young but was able to read her mind all the time. And when their daughter feels that she is sad, she will tell her, “Mommy thinks that Dad is in Alaska.” Because of this, she is trying to become strong for her every day.