Erin and her husband Doug were happily married, raising their daughter, Peyton, when out of the blue, Erin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Afraid that Peyton would have to grow up without her, she began working on a legacy of love, recording hours and hours of motherly advice for her only daughter. The videotapes covered everything from how to choose makeup ("Try to find makeup that looks natural, like you're not wearing any") to how to choose a husband ("Pick a very nice guy who has a backbone"). In the midst of grueling treatments, Erin also found the strength to write letters and prepare gifts for Peyton to open every Christmas and birthday after she was gone.
Erin also left a special wish for Doug: She hoped he would marry again. In 2005, Doug and 13-year-old Peyton visited Oprah's stage and brought a very special person with them—Peyton's stepmother Cheryl, who was expecting her second baby with Doug.