Last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the Fillies Race for Hope at Canterbury Downs, a benefit given for Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. I have never been to a horse race, so it was with great anticipation that my husband and I arrived at the track. I had expected excitement, good food, a glass of wine, but what was unexpected was the event itself. The lead horses and their jockeys were all decked out in pink headdresses and costumes. The stands filled with women in flamboyant pink hats and outfits–what an incredible representation of support.
What struck me the most, however, were the stories. Cancer is not only terrifying, it is costly. Many women lose their jobs since chemotherapy can take from six months to a year to complete. Unable to work they find themselves unemployed and broke, on top of being extremely ill. Some of these women even lost their homes. I had the honor of meeting Barbara Hensley who is the founder of Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. After her two sisters died from cancer, she quit her job and started this organization. They provide help for whatever need arises with this disease, from paying the heating bills to paying the mortgage, bridging the gap for thousands of women and allowing them some peace of mind.
I felt humbled. The strength of these survivors is amazing. The generosity and compassion of those involved in Hope Chest for Breast Cancer is also amazing. My thanks and gratitude goes out to all of them.