SPOKANE, Wash. – There are so many beautiful love stories out there, each with their own unique ending. Craig and Tina MacLachlan’s began when they were kids.
“I have been with her since I was 15,” he said. “We were together more than 30 years. It’s been difficult.”
Tina was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. KHQ spoke with her as she continued to inspire through the pain.
As she fought cancer, Tina continued to pour her soul into her job at ‘Karen’s House’ in Spokane. The facility is a long-term home for women recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. She told us in the months before her death that no matter what life throws at her, she will face it with optimism and hope.
“I've just noticed, if something bad happens, if you stay upset about it, it just makes it worse,” she said in 2018. “If you try to find solutions and have faith, it will work out. It usually does.”
She told us during that interview that previous battles gave her strength to fight the latest one.
“The first time I had cancer, I was 13,” she said.
She was able to beat it that time, but on October 29, 2018, her cancer as an adult took her life.
It’s been nearly three years since Craig and Tina MacLachlan’s beautiful love story was cut short.
“The healing has been hard,” he said. “I've never lived alone my whole life.”
In the days after Tina died, Craig discovered notes. Lots of notes. To loved ones, and him, to read once she was gone.
“I didn't know she did this, but over her last few weeks when I was sleeping, she was writing letters,” he said. “it’s really difficult for me to read mine.”
He’s only brought himself to do it twice. Instead putting pen to paper himself. He’s channeled all of his grief into writing the script for a movie about his Tina’s life. It’s named after her beloved nickname, ‘Sunshine Girl.’
“We stuck to that name,” he said.
He says the process was challenging, very painful at times, but well worth it if Tina’s story helps even one person. That’s why he contacted our ‘Help Me Hayley.’ He believes Tina’s positivity and strength will inspire.
“(I hope it) spreads faith and hope to people who see it,” he said. “A lot of that is needed these days. That’s why I’m going to do the movie.”
The movie will represent parts of Tina’s painful childhood, her battle with cancer as a teen, and her life with Craig. Casting is complete, and production could begin by early fall.
If you’re interested in supporting the film or learning more, visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sunshine-girl-feature-film#/