My challenge in life started December 9, 2007. My husband at the age of 41 and his father was tragically killed in a boating accident in Delcroix, Louisiana. I was faced with the biggest challenges of my life. I was a widow at the age of 37 with a daughter that was only 9 years old. The first several months after Jerry’s accident was such a blur. I don’t remember the funeral services, don’t remember people everything felt like a bad dream. I kept thinking I would wake up the next morning and it would all go away. My next 6 months became dealing with finances, our business of almost 8 years and a attorney. My husband’s partner tried sueing me and stealing everything from the company. I just wanted everything to end. My daughter needed me and I needed her. I ended up paying off all the expenses of the company. It took 6 long months to end that legal mess. Then the day before Christmas Eve 2008 I was served legal papers that I was being sued by a passenger of the other boat for medical injuries. He had a soft tissue injury to his knee.

Every day and night I would look at my daughter and say to myself that I have to make it. I want my daughter to have a happy life. I want her to live with values, goals, respect and love.

It’s been 2 long and hard years. I have to say life is much better. I am still not too sure how I made it. I have to say GOD, family, prays and such great friends help me through this difficult time in my life. My daughter Victoria was my inspiration. She is doing awesome…..honor roll and in honors at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, editor in the school newspaper, school flag football team for girls and school patrol. This is also her 10th year of dancing this year. That special night will be dedicated to her daddy.

I recently started the motto of FINISH STRONG due to a big fan of the New Orleans and Dree Brees.


Cheri Rodriguez
Kenner, Louisiana

Cheri Rodriguez,