Tia H. Cheney


Tia H. Cheney, 26, of West Bend, passed away Monday, Nov. 2, 2009, at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital-Ozaukee in Mequon.

She was born May 12, 1983, in Lewiston, Mich., to Brian and Christine (nee Ball) Cheney.

Tia lived in Lewiston until the age of 9. She attended Lewiston Elementary School with her life-long friend, Erin Hehir. At the age of 9, she moved to Kentucky with her dad and her brother, Ross, where they lived in the Radcliff area. This is where she met another life-long friend, Amber Graham. Tia lived in Radcliff until her dad, stepmother and brother moved to Grosse Pt. Isle, Mich.. Tia lived there until the age of 16, when she moved to West Bend, where she made many friends, including life-long friend, Joe Nichols. Tia attended West Bend East High School and graduated in the class 2001.

Tia lived in Michigan, Kentucky, Virginia, Wisconsin and Florida. Throughout her many travels she met a lot of people along the way. Each person she met she made a friend of. To be one of Tia’s friends meant you were her “best friend” because that was how she made you feel. Tia cared for each and every person she called her friend. If you were having a problem, despite all she was going through herself, your problems became her concern.

Tia was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 8. From that moment on, Tia fought to control the highs and lows of being a “brittle” diabetic, but never let that fight keep her down. She was determined to lead as “normal” a life a possible. She fought through pain, blindness, ulcers, dialysis, a coma, loss of teeth and many other health issues, all while maintaining an attitude of “what do I need to do next.” As she learned the struggles of waiting for a kidney and pancreas transplant, she became a staunch advocate and activist for organ donation and juvenile diabetes. Tia reached out to anyone, but especially children, to tell them what to expect with their illness as well as share some do’s and don’ts that only living the experience could illustrate. One of Tia’s goals was to tell everyone she met to “be an organ donor.”
Tia moved back to West Bend to live with her mom and step-dad in November of 2008. While here in Wisconsin, during her fight against diabetes, Tia met many wonderful healthcare workers who went out of their way to help her. They include Dr. George Mosley of the West Bend Clinic, the transplant team and staff at Froedtert Hospital, the staff at Midwest Dialysis, Dr. Hahn and Dr. Weinburg at the Eye Institute and Jim and Dave at West Bend Pharmacy. Tia was very appreciative of the care and help they were able to give her during her many treatments, procedures and hospital stays. All of these people touched her life.

Tia’s favorite holiday was Halloween. She loved cats, the actor Johnny Depp, Dr. Seuss, the book “The Cat in the Hat,” penguins, going to the Bristol Renaissance Fair in Bristol as often as she could, watching the Northern Lights and, most of all, her dad.

She is survived by her parents, Christine (Brad) Larson and Brian (Sandy) Cheney; four sisters, Cassandra, Michele, Maureen and Susan; two brothers, Ross and Michael; maternal grandparents, Glenn and Rita Ball; six aunts, Marsha, Cathy, Michele, Debra, Stacy and Becky; six uncles, Tony, Marc, Scott, Barry, Brian and Brent; a special nephew, Alex; many other nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends including her best friends, Erin, Joe and Amber.

She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Clarence “Bud” and June Cheney.

A funeral service in remembrance of Tia will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m. at the Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of service. Cremation will follow the service.

Memorials in honor of Tia would be appreciated to the Juvenile Diabetes Association or the local chapter of the Donor Network.