Health & Exercise


St-Eliz-speaker-RauOn October 16, five-time cancer survivor and motivational speaker Tracy Rau visited Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School and spoke to the 5th through 8th graders. Mrs. Rau experienced cancer in her eyes at the ages of 2 and 3. The disease took away her vision and she grew up blind. She remained cancer-free until 2010. Since 2010, she has battled cancer in her sinuses and in her lungs.
“I can ask God, ‘Oh darn, why is this happening to me?’ ” Rau told the students. “I can’t answer why I’ve gone through cancer five times. But God is still with me. I’m not done yet. God still has plans for me.”

Rau did her schoolwork in Braille while growing up. She also practiced the martial art Tae Kwon Do. Fifteen years ago, she married police officer Bill Rau and converted to the Catholic Church. Rau works for a cleaning service, answering phone calls and typing up messages for other employees.

Rau encouraged the students to listen more and to pray to God more. “Ask Him, ‘God, where do you want me in life?’ ” She said. “God will lead you to your tomorrow. God has walked that journey with me.”

Rau attended a Mass with Bishop Kevin Rhoades in South Bend for people with disabilities and did one of the readings at Mass. Bishop Rhoades later encouraged her to become a lector. Tracy Rau did just that and is now a lector at her parish, Our Lady of Good Hope in Fort Wayne. Rau also helps with disabilities ministry and jail ministry. “I want to remind the people in prison of God’s love,” she said.

Tracy Rau came as a speaker for “House,” which are groupings of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The various “House” groups are named after a saint and meet weekly to participate in service projects, competitions or to listen to a guest speaker. Tracy Rau came to speak after the “House” groups had participated in activities to better appreciate people with disabilities.

Tracy Rau sat in the gym in front of the students seated in the stands. With her were her seeing-eye dog Porter and her mother, Linda Wappes. “My mom is my angel. I thank her every day for teaching me to be independent,” Rau said. She said that her dog Porter is a partner in her life. “He helps me to cross the street, and if a car was coming at me, he would step in front of me.” After speaking, Rau took questions from the students and teachers present.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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