Woman spends her last days on Earth volunteering - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Woman spends her last days on Earth volunteering


Freda Swigert does not let anything stop her. She is battling pancreatic cancer for a third time and has a brain tumor, but she wakes up every morning determined to finish the Starfish Café, a non-profit dedicated to giving people a second chance at life.

Sometimes she will work until one or two in the morning.

"I know there are applicants in line, those who want to change their ways and it's very important to me to get this place up and going and if I live to see that then He can have me," Swigert said.

Doctors told Swigert she was in remission from cancer in April, but just a few months later was diagnosed with a tumor and temporarily lost her vision. Once the cancer came back she decided she was going to scratch something off her bucket list and began a journey from Coast to Coast on her bike.

During her ride she was not feeling well and went to the doctor in New Mexico to find out the cancer had come back which did not stop her, she kept on peddling. She even made a detour to go through the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"When I came through here I had this really, really great feeling that this is where I'm supposed to live or I'm supposed to finish my final days and that's why I'm here," Swigert said.

She finished her 7,986 mile ride in October and moved to Bay St. Louis less than a month later where she has been volunteering and riding in her spare time.

Saturday Swigert organized a ten mile bike ride to raise money for the café.

"They are helping me help the community, the Starfish Café is all for the community to make Bay St. Louis the best it can be," Swigert said.

Swigert hopes to live to see the café open and she says she wants to ride every street in Bay St. Louis, if those things are crossed off her bucket list she will only have a few left.

"If this is it, this is it but I would still like to ride for the Irish Cancer Society in Ireland and see Sinead O'Connor," Swigert said.

Swigert goes for a bike ride every day and says she would love to have company. If you would like to ride along with her you can give her a call 228-363-8077.

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