How a pair of shoes can help in the fight against breast cancer

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

by Katie Cobb

These aren’t ruby slippers so famous in the childhood favorite “Wizard of Oz,” nor do they have powers as you click your heels to take you home, but they have made a huge difference in many lives here in Southampton County.

Here’s our story. Lisa Turner was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2009.

She, Rhonda Harrup and I joined in with the usual Capron carolers during the Christmas season last year. I proudly wore my mom’s pink ribbon Crocs with fur that cold December night.

During the chilly hayride, Lisa commented on them. I sadly told her they had been my mom’s, and that she had lost her 12-year battle to breast cancer just six months ago — only a month shy of her 58th birthday.

From that moment on, we joined forces and created a bond and dedication to fight this disease that steals so many lives prematurely all around our small community and all over the world.

Lisa has now finished her treatments with great courage and determination, and will continue to fight like many others to stay healthy and disease-free.

Just recently she realized she wanted to take an even bigger step in this fight. She has joined “Cheers to Courage,” a Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3 Day team with Rhonda and myself this year.

Every year in the United States breast cancer claims nearly 40,000 lives. Who has been affected in your life? The Breast Cancer 3 Day is the chance to go the distance in this fight against breast cancer.

I joined this event last year, walking 60 miles in Tampa after my mom’s courageous battle ended. Rhonda was inspired to join soon after our friend, neighbor and church member Donna Rountree was diagnosed last spring; she is fighting strong, by the way, and will be as we walk.

Her daughter, Emily Rountree, who is a junior this year, will also be bringing her team in her mom’s honor.

We all leave for Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7. We will raise the required funds, and we will walk the 20 miles for the three days while camping in two-person pink tents.

When it is over, we will raise our glasses and make a toast for all those we know and love who are in this awful battle and have to wake up daily to find strength and courage to fight to live with cancer wondering if they will even have another day to fight.

And we will offer a few “cheers to courage.”

Do pink ribbon Crocs have any proven magic to help find a cure for cancer? Probably not, but on that cold December night last year, whoever knew what power and strength they would have for three Capron girls to form a common bond and decide to go the distance for all those we know and love.

So here’s to those sentimental pink Crocs. Thanks to all your help and “cheers to courage!”

Any fundraising support would be greatly appreciated. Make checks payable to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Mail to Lisa Turner , 21656 Popes Station Road, Capron, Va., 23829.

Everyone deserves a lifetime.