Heartbreak in Silicon Valley About Steve Jobs

Our iVoice Samantha Fein talks with three friends -- two battling the same cancer that Steve Jobs had -- about the loss of a man who changed our lives forever

My friend Rita sat in her grief group when the text message came in that former CEO of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs had died.  "My heart just stopped," she said. “I am sitting here at Hospice right now.”

Rita’s husband Uwe died one year ago this week from complications of pancreatic cancer. The news was spreading very fast through Silicon Valley. The Albert Einstein of our generation has died.

At that moment, my office came to a stop as engineers scrambled to the web, and in a way that only true believers of the Apple Juice can, sat reloading the Apple homepage. I, instead, jumped in my car and headed four miles up the road to the Apple Headquarters and called my friend Amy.

My dear friend Amy, too, has "The Steve Jobs Cancer" and she fights with the same vigor that Jobs did, to battle cancer at every curve. She’s devoted her career, in between CT scans with Steve Jobs' oncologist, to ensuring that cosmetics are free from chemicals that cause cancer. She was deadpan when I called.  "I feel like throwing up, this is all pretty real for me. Too real."

The flag at Apple HQ was at half-staff when I arrived and dozens of employees hung around outside looking shell-shocked. News vans pulled into One Infinite Loop, the main entrance road at Apple, as employees huddled in groups.

Amy, like Steve would have, went into high gear with the news of his passing, texting links and data and information, with all the passion she could muster. "Over 90 percent of neuroendocrine system cancers are still undetected," she texted me.  "Steve’s death can bring so much awareness to both oncologists and patients about early detection."

My friend Josh, shockingly another friend with "The Steve Jobs Cancer," posted almost immediately to his blog, "We go forward – with better tools in the fight," he writes. "Thanks, Steve."

I read Amy’s texts just as security kicked me off of the Apple campus. As I drove away from Apple in Cupertino, a giant rainbow covered Silicon Valley, and I smiled. Magic to the end, I thought. My iPhone dinged again: Rita was texting. "Well," she said, preparing for her husband's one-year memorial on Saturday, "What a week for the pearly gates."

Samantha Fein is an iVoice on iVillage and blogs at GarzaGirls.com. Follow Samantha on Twitter: @Garza_Girl

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