Old Town mother dies after battle with cancer

Posted Aug. 27, 2008, at 2:37 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 7:18 a.m.

OLD TOWN, Maine – Sonya Barclay, the Old Town mother of four whose struggle with cancer sparked a community-wide movement to build her family a new house, died early Wednesday.

Barclay’s longtime friend Jennifer Dudley of Winterport, who was one of three women who spear-headed the effort for the new home on Bennoch Road, said Barclay, 35, died sometime before 5 a.m.

She had been in Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor since Saturday.

Details about funeral arrangements were not available Wednesday afternoon.

Barclay was diagnosed in 2004 with breast cancer which eventually metastized and spread throughout her body.

The story of the Barclay family, including Sonya, husband Jeff, 10-year-old daughter Logan Leonard, son Derek Barclay, 8, and daughters Madyson, 5, and Mackenzie, 4, grabbed local attention in May.

Individuals in Old Town and beyond wound up contributing thousands of dollars in construction materials and thousands of hours in volunteer time to build the new house.

The family was living in a trailer that Sonya and Jeff Barclay believed was making their children sick because of mold. The trailer frame was also starting to buckle. The building was also small for the two adults, four children and a large family dog.

Sonya told local media her wish was to see her family in a new home by the time she died.

Donations of time, money and materials began to flow in, and thanks to the coordination efforts of Sonya Barclay’s friends Dudley, Lana Phillips and Brandi Folsom, her wish was granted in late May. In about a three-week span, the old trailer was razed and the new home was ready. The family saw it for the first time on Tuesday, May 27.

The story was aired on the CBS Evening News Friday, June 6.

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