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Fab-Four-209x115Meet Our Winners!

We are proud to present the winners of the Fabulous Four in 2014! Take a moment to read the heartfelt and courageous stories of these brave and special women.

 

   

Shannon Thompson: Spring Creek, NV

Fabulous Four Experience Winner

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Shannon was nominated for this experience:  I nominate Shannon Thompson to honor the strength and determination she mustered in her fight against breast cancer. She's a survivor!

Diagnosed at the age of 34 with three small children, she was one of the healthiest people I knew. Always ready for something physical, she played fast-pitch softball, volleyball, and rode her bicycle regularly.

With no history of cancer in her family, the diagnosis was especially devastating. She didn't let a mastectomy and chemotherapy keep her down. Whilst undergoing rounds of chemo that made her violently ill, she’d load her kids up in a bicycle trailer and ride as soon as the physical sickness passed to keep her weight and strength up.

Once her hair started falling out, her husband and his coworkers shaved their heads in support of her tough fight. But even with a shaved, bald head, Shannon was beautiful. She rocked being bald like no one else.

One thing especially inspiring about Shannon is that despite having debt due to her medical treatment, she didn’t fundraise for herself. She didn’t plead with people to help with her bills or for groceries. No. She asked for donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation because she wants to prevent as many men and women from facing what she faced. She detailed cars in 100° temperatures at her home, donating 100% of the proceeds. She partnered with local businesses to raise money for her cause. 

She set a goal of $5,000.00 and blew that out with over $8,000 raised!

 

 

Kristal Kelley: Smithfield, NC

Fabulous Four Experience Winner

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My story begins at age 14 when my mom died of breast cancer at the age of 45. She would be the first of many to succumb to this disease. That was December 15, 1977. Fast forward to October of 1988 when I found a lump in my left breast. I was 25 years old with two little children at home. I made an appointment with my general practitioner to have it checked. He decided to hold off a month to see what happened. It grew...I went back in November and demanded they do something. He tried to convince me that it was nothing, but I prevailed. 

He decided to do a needle biopsy and could not draw fluid. He then contacted a surgeon to do the surgical biopsy. I refused to have it done on the 15th of December so I opted for the 13th. They were sure I wouldn't get the results on the 15th....they were wrong. Eleven years to the day I lost my mom, I heard my diagnosis. I had breast cancer and I needed to make some hard decisions. I chose a double mastectomy and reconstruction. 

Since my diagnosis, I lost 3 of my mother's sisters and a 29 year old cousin who was pregnant when diagnosed. They delivered her baby at 7 months and she lived until her child was 6 weeks old. Another aunt and another cousin were diagnosed and at this point are still doing well. Three years ago, my sister was diagnosed with the exact same breast cancer. She is doing well. We decided for our family's sake to be tested for the BRCA gene. We both carry deleterious mutations. My daughter has since been tested and she is negative, thank the good Lord. 

I volunteer with the American Cancer Society doing Relay for Life and Making Strides. I am also the Reach to Recovery Coordinator for my county. My husband and I spend most of our free time fighting to eradicate this disease. We are both cancer action network volunteers. We also work with Pretty In Pink Foundation and Force. My greatest desire is that no person will have to hear the words "you have cancer".

 


Kathy Adams: Bountiful, UT

Fabulous Four Experience Winner

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Summer 2007 I started training for the Salt Lake Marathon. February 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments followed a right side radical mastectomy. Although I was never really very ill during this, these two treatments drastically changed my body. From the loss of my hair, this truly affected me more than I thought it would. Handfuls of it washing out in the shower brought the decision to have my head shaved, so my very supportive husband assisted me in this endeavor. (No more bad hair days!) The being lopsided was another problem to overcome. I definitely needed something to equalize that right side so my necklaces would hang straight instead of sliding to the empty spot and hang at an angle. The weeks of inactivity really got me down. I wanted to work in the office, nixed. I wanted to work in my garden, nixed. I wanted to ride my bike, go on walks, go golfing and bowling, nixed. Food? Oh yes, I could have all I wanted. So I did. 

Reconstruction surgery took place in 2009. Physical therapy took the place of bowling, golfing and other activities I had enjoyed.. Although my stamina improved during that time, I was not physically in shape. My physical therapists worked closely with me and also suggested I visit a dietitian. 

My progress? I have gone from 174+ lbs to 133 lbs from 39% body fat to 18.1% body fat and I have gained 5.4% lean muscle.
2013 I completed my very first half marathon! Rode my bicycle 75 miles in one day! And my coach has me training with the long distance runners to do a marathon in May of 2014. I am in 2 bowling leagues and having a blast! I do Zumba twice a week, circuit training twice a week and bowl twice a week! I still put in a 40 hr. work week and love every second of it. I will celebrate my 65th birthday this May, just before I run in the marathon.

All in all there are only 3 things I had any control over. What I ate, How much I moved and ATTITUDE. I think the Attitude is what saved me! I’m still in treatment but there is no sign of the disease.

 


Barb Demorest: Bellingham, WA

Fabulous Four Experience Winner

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Breast cancer gave me a new purpose in life. After an unsuccessful attempt at reconstruction after a mastectomy I was faced with what now. I was told by a cancer clinic that, "oh honey, you can't put anything on that scar for 6 weeks". That was the first time I cried.

Waiting in the doctor's office I was looking at a brochure for some camisoles that had pockets for silicone prosthetics when the doctor came in and commented that most women didn't care for them, too hot, heavy and expensive. He asked if I knitted because he didn't have one but there was a pattern for a "knocker" if I wanted to try it. A friend made me one. When she brought it to me it was beautiful! Soft, light and pretty. I knew then and there that the doctors' offices needed to be supplied with these to give out to everyone in need.

I went from despair to joy knowing that I was in a position to make a difference in lots of lives. I had access to breast reconstruction and cancer doctors on a regular basis. I set out to network yarn shops, volunteer knitters and the cancer clinics together. The doctors tell me that women cry and it gives them joy to bring a smile to their face when they are feeling very hopeless and vulnerable. I know because I was one of them!

 

 

Laurie Trudell: Coventry, RI

Fabulous Four Public Vote Winner

(Wins a Bowl for the Cure® Support Pack!)   

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My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Since I was only 16 I was not fully aware of what was going to unfold over the days ahead. With my father's love and support, my mom was able to stay positive and overcome every bump in the road during her treatments. Her body rejected her port, forcing her treatments to be more stressful than they already were, and her second set of treatments resulted in her being in the hospital for nine days. Over those nine days, she had to have blood transfusions to get her levels where they needed to be. Although my mother was too weak to pick up a bowling ball, or even walk across the room on some days, she still managed to drive with my father and I to the Junior Gold Championships in Indiana. During this week she was uncomfortable and in pain, but she pushed that aside to continue to be my biggest supporter. I would love for my mom to have the opportunity to take this trip, so I can return the favor and give her the same support she's given me all these years. 


These Fabulous Four experience winners will all receive a 5-day trip of that starts April 8th, 2014!

Our Fabulous Four Public Vote winner (Laurie) will receive a Bowl for the Cure® Support Pack that includes a Bowl for the Cure® jersey, t-shirt, bowling ball, bowling pin, bowling towel and Bowl for the Cure® wristbands!

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