Blair Beinhaker, the middle child of three, was only nineteen years old when she was diagnosed with PNET, a rare type of pediatric cancer. She had been attending the University of Arizona at the time, but her sophomore year ended abruptly when her health started to go downhill.
By October, she came home to New Jersey to be treated at Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick. Throughout her illness, Blair showed the world how strong and selfless she was. She exemplified courage and an everlasting spirit.
If you knew Blair, you knew most of her likes and dislikes. She was usually listening to music, knitting scarves for friends, shopping on the Urban Outfitter’s website, or talking on the phone. Most of all, she loved her friends and family… and it showed.
Blair was a free spirit. One time when she was in Arizona, she called home, and calmly told her family, that she had ‘Just jumped out of a plane.’ She had decided to go skydiving on a whim and didn’t tell her loved ones until after she landed safely. She never wanted anyone to worry, yet she still wanted to live her life to the fullest each and every day.
Two of Blair’s biggest 'obsessions,' were The Beatles and Drew Barrymore. When Blair was sick, she was given a gift from a local charity. She decided that she wanted to see Paul McCartney in concert, so that is what she did. In April of 2002, Blair and three of her closest friends, went to Madison Square Garden to see one of the original Beatles, live in concert. This was the type of moment that helped her during her sickness.
Drew (Barrymore) had been an ongoing ‘favorite’ in Blair’s life. In fact, Drew and Blair looked almost like twins at the rightful age of six, when Drew starred in E.T. Drew was one of the people that always made Blair smile; whether it was through movies or her care-free spirit and attitude towards life. One day during her illness, her older brother coincidentally ran into Drew at a restaurant in California. Josh approached Drew, and explained how his sister was a huge fan. Within an hour, Blair received a phone call from across the country, with Drew Barrymore on the other end of the line. Another moment to make Blair smile was granted.
If you were lucky enough to know Blair Beinhaker, then you have known an amazing young woman. Her long-lasting, close relationships with family and friends from college, high school, the hospital, or everyday life have remained in tact to this day. She has touched so many people’s lives through her outgoing personality and kindness.
After fighting her personal battle with cancer for a year and a half, Blair passed away on March 23, 2003 at the young age of twenty-one.
The Blair Beinhaker Friendship Foundation strives to help Blair continue to touch people’s lives.