TIFFANY LINKER Tiffany Samantha Linker "TUFF TIFF" of Monroe, NC, died after a life-long struggle with Fibrodysplasia Osscificans Progressiva, a rare, debilitating bone disease. She was born May 2, 1989 in Charlotte, NC. Her parents are Mark and the late Annamarie Linker; grandparents Joe and Joanne Mucci and Bettie and the late Jack Linker. Tiffany was a member of Benton Heights Presbyterian Church in Monroe, NC and had a strong faith in God. She had a great love for life and was loved by everyone who came in contact with her. People from all over the world knew Tiffany and were touched by her faith, strength, wit and bright smile. The family moved to Souderton, to be close to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Dr. Fred Kaplan and staff who are researchers for FOP. Early on Tiff was the spokesperson for FOP in documentaries on TV. Dr. Kaplan was so dear to Tiff and the family that she called him Uncle Fred and they considered him family. Also, there she began a life-long friendship with Julie and Alana Mokrzycki. About 4 years ago, they moved back to Monroe to be close to family. Tiff was artistic and creative being able to paint, draw, sew and sing. Tiff loved to sew but FOP restricted her so she could not use a machine. Undaunted, she skilfully made her school costumes, prom dress and other clothes by meticulously stitching them by hand. She had a beautiful voice, often singing at the Christmas Eve service at Faith Baptist in Sellersville. Being an avid reader contributed to her extensive knowledge on many subjects. Throughout her life, she adapted instantly to every stage of her disease. When her elbow locked up and she was not able to feed herself, she asked for several tongue depressors, a plastic fork, spoon and tape. She taped them together putting the fork on one end and spoon on the other. With her wrist action, she could feed herself. Always mindful that some people were uncomfortable and did not know what to say to her, she would break the ice with her sense of humor by saying that they were standing on her oxygen line and she could not breathe. This would bring a horrified reaction, but then she would break out with that winning smile and say she was just kidding. Many times throughout her life Tiffany was told that she would die in just a short while only to bounce back baffling the doctors and nurses. Finally, it was God's will to take her home to be with Him and she is in pain no more. The family will receive friends Monday, July 30, at McEwen Funeral Home of Monroe from 6 to 8PM. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 31, at Benton Heights Presbyterian Church at 2PM. Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 E. 7th St., Charlotte.
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Published by The Reporter from Jul. 29 to Jul. 30, 2012.