Julie A. Heidt Michaelson, age 75, of Prudenville passed away on Tuesday July 4, 2023 at nearby Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital.

This is a common start for the standard obituary.  However, because Julie was far from standard, we in the IBC community wish to honor her in a more personal way.  

Julie had an amazing career and life but there was one story that she delighted in telling…of her love for her husband Michael.  They were high school sweethearts. However, many teenagers are advised to go solo into a larger world, to experience life, and they did.  They lost touch with each other.  Fifty years later, they found each other again. They realized they still had very strong feelings for each other and realized they wanted to be married.  However, there was just one massive hurdle to their belated happiness.  Julie had been recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and her life expectancy was poor.   Michael did not want to not lose any more time, and Julie agreed.  They married quickly, and turned what they thought would be a short but happy marriage, into a joyous and sometimes challenging ten years together. Some of us who knew her think those ten years together were made possible because of Julie’s willpower to live, not only for herself, but for the happiness she had with Mike.  

Julie was a  loving woman to her husband, and she also devoted endless hours to volunteering with the IBC Network Foundation. She was also a support person in the greater IBC community.  Everyone knew Julie. She would spend hours online, chatting with newly diagnosed patients, world-wide, easing their fears, giving practical suggestions and comfort.  She was a core member of the volunteer team, often giving advice, suggestions and even corrections to our founder, Terry Arnold.  Julie was a spirited woman, a “spitfire” for sure, and to quote an overused phrase, “to know her was to love her.”

To live with a Stage 4 diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer for ten years is a message of remarkable hope to other IBC patients. Julie was blowing up statistics daily, just by living.  She was hope personified, and she wanted nothing more to live but also see research funded supported via The IBC Network Foundation.

Julie, we will always miss you.  Your spirit will live on, in us.  We hope to carry your joy, passion and loving nature into the IBC community and beyond, in your memory.

Hope always, 

Even when it is sometimes through tears, dear friend, 

Terry Arnold

P.S. a parting message from her dear husband Mike. His announcement of her passing:

My Warrior Princess was lifted to heaven at 7:10 am, Tuesday, July 4th, to be in the loving arms of her Lord and Savior. While we mourn her passing, my focus will forever be the love we shared, along with her incredible life’s story, her indomitable spirit, her courageous 10 yr fight vs IBC, and how she dealt with it will continue to be an inspiration to me—in so many ways, til the last of my days. Am awed and forever grateful for the prayers , love and support from friends and family.

Michael Michalson

Obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/name/julie-heidt-michaelson-obituary?id=52389131

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