Fridinger can still remember that day at the hospital in 2006 after the doctor had performed a hysterectomy on Janice and found a tumor.

"It doesn't look good," he told her. "It may be cancer."

"I was devastated," Fridinger said. "She was my best friend. My mom and dad had passed away. It was just Janice and me."

The diagnosis turned out to be Stage 4 endometrial cancer. "When the doctor told her, Janice looked up at him matter of fact and asked what she could do to get rid of it.


"Like" explorebaltimorecounty's Facebook page

"Janice and I made a pact at that point. She would take care of getting rid of the cancer and I would have all the emotions. 'Blubberbutt,' she always called me. She knew I was good at that.

"And I did a very good job."

Janice kept working as a procurement officer for the Maryland State Police, but she started radiation treatments." I would go with her," Fridinger said. "We didn't want her to be alone."

"She made light of the cancer; she referred to it as 'a minor inconvenience,' "Fridinger said. "We had a ball picking out wigs, but she rarely wore one. She wore all these different color knitted caps a friend had made her, to go with her different outfits."

"She was an amazing lady. She was always positive, optimistic. She wasn't going to let it get her down, even as I'd hear her retching in the bathroom.

"Our daughter Melissa was her godchild, and she had asked Jan to be the maid of honor for her wedding. Jan arranged her chemo so it would be on the best week for the wedding."

Her sister was so sick she couldn't make the rehearsal dinner, but the nurses at the infusion center got her to the ceremony.

"One of my chauffeurs walked her down the aisle," Fridinger said." I remember her standing at the altar and she was so weak she was leaning on it to hold herself up. My husband and I were ready to jump up at any moment."

The chemo stopped worked less than four months after that. The cancer was overwhelming.

"We initiated home hospice care in January of 2010," Fridinger said. "We did the best we could to make her comfortable. We set up her bed in the family room so she wouldn't miss anything.

"She passed away at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday. She was finally out of pain. We were all there. I think she would have liked that."

The family decided on cremation. Since they had no cemetery plot, Marty suggested she keep the ashes "so where you go she can go." The thought pleased her.

Night out to fight cancer

The idea of using a pink limousine to fight cancer came from a friend who owned a limo company in Raleigh, N.C., who had had gone down the same road with someone she loved.

Fridinger found a used stretch limousine in good shape, and had it shipped to Missouri to be outfitted and painted.

She found the eyelashes on the Internet when she was surfing to find ways to "pink-ify" the interior, she said.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Limo Lady and Bill Bateman's Bistro, 8810 Waltham Woods Road, North Plaza, will team up for Fridinger's latest effort to fight cancer. On that night, patrons who present a designated flier in person — on by smart phone to a server — will trigger a donation by Bateman's of 10 percent of their check to the Cancer Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center.

That includes carry-out and bar service, but it applies only to Bateman's at North Plaza. The flier can be obtained at St. Joseph Medical Center or downloaded at http://www.billbateman.com or http://www.StJosephTowson.com/Giving.

Patrons who are St. Joseph Medical Center employees won't need the flier; they will be able to just show their badges.

The "Dine Out for a Cause" benefit will feature guest bartenders, guest servers, a silent sports memorabilia auction and the drawing for a raffle — the prize is three hours of limousine service, a $100 Bill Bateman's gift card, a $50 Geresbeck's Market gift card and "a basket of cheer."

Tickets are on sale now, and are $2 per chance, or $5 for three chances. The winning ticket holder doesn't have to be present when the drawing is held.

It didn't take much thought to choose the Cancer Institute at St. Joseph as the recipient of the proceeds.

During her sister's battle, "the nurses and doctors had become like second family," Fridinger said. "I'm just giving back to the institute."

"It's funny," she said. "My sister couldn't go anywhere without giving something, and even though she's not here anymore, she's still giving."