NOVATO, Calif. (KRON) – A woman currently on life support will soon leave behind a teenage daughter in the Bay Area. However, the woman’s lifelong friends have come together, vowing to make sure that her daughter will be taken care of.
Cindy Sebesta Leaf, 54, lost her husband, Joe, three years ago. Within days of this past Christmas, her 17-year-old daughter was involved in a deadly auto accident on the 101 freeway in Novato. Within weeks of that tragedy, Leaf suffered a major medical event leaving her in critical condition.
“I can’t comprehend it. I am still numb from it,” said Warren Gendel.
“It’s beyond tragic. It’s beyond tragic,” said Dana Dodson.
“We have been friends with her for over 43 years,” said Ioni McIlrath.
These lifelong friends who call themselves Cindy Lou’s Crew gathered at Blackie’s Pasture in Novato to reflect on the life of Cindy Sebesta Leaf. They say she was the life of the party and a huge 49ers fan.
“We called her ‘The Mayor.’ She is our Terra Linda, tried and true mascot. She is larger than life,” McIlrath said.
Leaf’s gang of childhood friends have banded together in support of her 16-year-old surviving daughter Josie by starting a GoFundMe.
“Cindy was everything to all of us,” Gendel said. “She was the glue that kept all of us together. We really want to do what’s right for her and Josie now at this point.”
Those who would like to help are invited to an all-day event called Dine and Donate for the Leaf Damily. It will happen Saturday, Jan. 28th at Las Guitarras in Novato.
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“Our hopes are that we can take care of Josie for the rest of her life,” said Nani Tanner with Cindy Lou’s Crew.
As Cindy’s life comes to an end, her crew says she will continue to do what she has always done – help others.
“She is an organ donor. She will be able to help many people when the time comes,” McIlrath said.