If you take Highway 85 through Eau Claire, Wisconsin, you’ll see a touching tribute from a husband to his late wife — thousands of bright yellow sunflowers lining the road for 4-and-a-half miles. Don Jaquish made it his mission to honor his wife Babbette’s memory by planting fields of her favorite flower. Babbette died last November at 66, after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.
Babbette’s legacy extends even beyond the stunning twin fields of sunflowers that each stretch 60 feet wide. Her husband, Don, and daughter, Jennifer White, began a company called Babbette’s Seeds of Hope, which uses the proceeds from the sales of the sunflowers to help other cancer patients and their families. The money goes to individual families, hospitals, research and patient advocacy.
“The cost of cancer treatment … the cost of drugs, the travel, the clinical trials, the grueling testing … it’s a whole gamut of heartache that goes along with the diagnosis,” Jennifer told The Christian Post. “It was her idea to take the beauty of the sunflowers and give donations to other families, to research, to whatever we felt there was a cause for.”
Her picture graces the front of every bag of birdseed that is sold.
“She was a pretty modest person and I’m not so sure she’d want her picture on the bag, but she’s such a beautiful woman. She didn’t really know how beautiful she was, inside and out,” Don told USA Today.