06/12/2008 at 11:45 AM EDT
host Nancy O'Dell is mourning the loss of her mother, Betty, who died at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend after a battle with ALS. She was 74.
Elizabeth "Betty" Sawyer Humphries, a lifelong South Carolinian and a retired schoolteacher, was diagnosed with ALS, a neuromuscular disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, last November. In April, O'Dell opened up
about her mom's illness with the hope of raising awareness. "Right now, there is no cure,” she told PEOPLE at the time.
In a statement on Access Hollywood
's Web site,
Betty was remembered as "relentlessly positive, with a strong faith in God and never an unkind word. The silver linings in this deeply painful time for Nancy are these – it was quick after diagnosis so Betty didn’t suffer much and thus her mom will be remembered as she was known: full of life and love."
Watching her mother struggle with the disease was tough for O'Dell, 42, who is married to business executive Keith Zubchevich and the mother of daughter Ashby Grace, 1. "It's the most difficult thing I've ever been through," she said in April. "She is one of the most loving, incredible and giving people on this earth."
The family has requested that memorials be made at www.ALS-MDA.org.Like this story? Click on the Yahoo Buzz! button below to Buzz it up!