Cyndi MacMaster, who learned earlier this month that she had terminal cancer, died early Friday morning with her husband where he has been for the past 15 years: right by her side.

MacMaster, 36, of Dresden, the wife of Richmond Police Chief Scott MacMaster, leaves behind three sons, ages 5, 7 and 12.

“How am I doing?” Scott MacMaster wrote on his Facebook page and a fundraising site established for the family. “Well I’m sad, I’m mad, I’m happy, I’m relieved, and most of all I’m thankful. I’m thankful that from October 1999 until 12/19/2014, I got the opportunity to be sad, happy, mad, relieved with my true love and best friend Cyndi Stinchfield MacMaster. Remember behind every good man there is a even better woman :).”

Cyndi MacMaster learned in early December that the cervical cancer she battled two years ago had returned and spread to other organs, including her liver. The cancer was not treatable with chemotherapy or any conventional methods.

The community rallied around the family to offer emotional and financial support for experimental treatments that insurance would not cover. Several fundraisers were organized by businesses, friends and family. Cyndi MacMaster’s sister, Corina Gilbert of Mercer, set up an online account to “make this Christmas with their three boys a memorable one.”

“Her family’s finances were completely exhausted with the first battle with cancer,” Gilbert said recently. “It’s only a year that she was healthy before this. There’s nothing to fall back on. She has nothing to leave her children.”

Gilbert’s account,, is still active and other fundraisers are going ahead as scheduled. Alicia Barnes of the Red Barn restaurant in Augusta will still donate all December tips to the family.

“The way I see it she has three sons that are still going to need to go to school,” Barnes said.

Scott MacMaster’s sister, Susan MacMaster Beaulieu, said a benefit lunch scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Gardiner Area High School will go on as planned. There will be a silent auction and an appearance by Santa.

Cyndi MacMaster, reflecting on the support and messages delivered through social networking sites, said earlier this month she was overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity expressed by the community.

“I am beyond words with gratefulness and appreciation and feeling so blessed with all these people trying to help us,” she said. “It is so heartwarming; it’s really healing. It’s amazing.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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