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Veterinarian Cheryl Welch Loses Brief Cancer Battle

Beloved owner of Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital passed away on Wednesday.

Cheryl Welch — a mom, a business owner, a doctor, a friend and inspiration — lost her brief battle with pancreatic cancer Wednesday. She leaves behind four children, Jack, 13, Brigette, 13, Kyra, 10, and Reese, 7. 

The veterinarian from Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital fell ill shortly after completing the New York City Marathon — in four hours and 25 minutes — in November. In mid-January, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which spread to multiple sites in her body, including her brain and spinal cord.

Members of the Mahwah community expressed grief at losing Welch, who was an influential member of the community. She often gave presentations in the district's elementary schools.

Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Ave, Wykoff, is handling the arrangements. According to her CaringBridge page, the viewings are scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A memorial service is planned for Cedar Hill Reformed Church at noon on Tuesday, March 1. The funeral home could not immediately confirm the service details. More details to follow as they become available. 

"The legacy of love you have written here will be a priceless gift her children will have forever," TK wrote on the CaringBridge site. "Through your messages, and maybe without realizing it,  you have written a beautiful account of Cheryl's life on these pages...what she has meant to each of you,  all your prayers and thoughts for her, her journey, her impact on your lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have all had a very important part to play and your messages are as unique as your fingerprints on the shape of Cheryls life. Hugs and comfort to each one of you, to all of us."

See Cheryl Welch's full obituary here.

christine fellner February 24, 2011 at 09:46 PM
I am so sorry for your loss, I was stunned when I saw it. We brought our dogs and cats for rabies shots at the office. Also had Christmas photos taken with children and our cat, Tiger and dog, Chester. What a fiasco that was!! How kind it was that Cheryl opened up her office for that. My 3 youngest children and I went. All the goodies she had there, also. I also am a runner, pretty good, but not a marathoner! Our family has had some very difficult times, also! It was once said, "You can judge a man by the way it treats it's animals." I, also, had plans to become a Vet, but life had other plans for me. All of us who knew and loved Dr. Cheryl have suffered a indescribable loss, but are better by what has been gained through knowing her. She will be terribly missed, BUT ALWAYS REMEMBERED. With heartfelt sympathy, The Fellner Family
jennifer February 25, 2011 at 02:56 PM
I met Cheryl back in the mid 80's when had her first job in Hillsdale, NJ. She and her staff had been taken care of my animals ever since. She had been my moral support throughout every problem with all my animals. This last time was one of the hardest and not only was Cheryl great support through her love and comfort she also was incredibly generous with helping even when it was impossible to pay for the cost of the medical needs to save an animal. Cheryl will be surely missed by dozens and I can not put into words how much I will miss her. I am very thankful for being honored to have known this incredible woman and hope that her 4 wonderful children will be strong and remember the great life she had and to keep her love with them forever. Jennifer Romanoff, Jinx, Isis, Tigger Hillsdale, NJ

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