Erie native Chris Tombaugh has used her own personal tragedy to help other’s deal with the pain and heartache that comes with grief.

The Remarkable Women Winner has a long list of accomplishments over the years.

“Since this award, it’s amazing how many women have reached out to me and used the simple words — ‘you saved my life,'” said Chris Tombaugh, Remarkable Women winner.

While Chris Tombaugh has touched many lives, she is humbled by the honor– saying she didn’t save their lives, but gave them the opportunity to save their own lives.

“It’s definitely humbling and it’s almost like I don’t know what to say about it. I mean I just do what I do because that’s who I am,” said Tombaugh.

Chris Tombaugh says her journey of helping others began soon after her husband died when she was 37-years-old.

“When my husband died unexpectedly, I was young and it really was an impact on my life. What am I going to do with the rest of my life. And I really started getting involved in helping people that were grieving,” said Tombaugh.

Over the years, she helped people get their lives back on track, working at the Erie City Mission, the Mercy Center for Women, and now part time at Erie DAWN. She even provided a home for her niece and nephew after they lost both parents within a year.

What’s her message to other women who want to make a difference in their lives and communities?

“I think they have to find what their passion is, and then they have to have a purpose. Why am I doing that, and then move forward,” said Tombaugh.