On May 12 approximately 500 volunteers, businesses, community organizations, walkers and their furry friends, joined Stewart’s Caring Place: Cancer Wellness Center for its 6th Annual Hope Walk at the Fairlawn Community Center.
Sunny weather warmed the walkers as they headed on their 2.3 mile jaunt around Summit Mall. New this year were picket-like signs encouraging drivers to visit Stewart’s and offering quick snippets of Stewart’s services. Cars honked their support and some even threw money out their windows. The event raised more than $50,000 for Stewart’s Caring Place, allowing it to continue to provide its services and programs free-of-charge to those in need.
Christy Mattey, with support from her husband and two young boys, spoke about the services she has used since diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011.
“I was diagnosed on my 43rd birthday on November 15, 2011. My first call to Stewart's was on November 16. The staff at Stewart's talked to me before I could even reach my physicians,” she explained.
Mattey goes on to tell how she relied on Child Life Specialist Avni Sahgal to help her explain cancer, losing her hair, finding a wig, and so much more to her two children. When visiting the wig room she remembers them giggling while trying wigs on together.
Mattey has also found friends and companionship with women going through the same battle she is in Stewart’s Women’s Breast Group.
“There were hugs and tears and friendships formed from the moment I walked through the doors,” she said. “I sat in an empty chair next to the most amazing survivor sister, her name is Ginni and she is here with me. Between phone calls and text messages of support, Stewart's gave me one of the greatest gifts of all in Ginni - a dear friend.”
The morning came to a close with the Swizzle Sticks Band entertaining the walkers and a quick breakfast donated by Main Street Gourmet, Krieger’s Health Foods Market, Chick-Fil-A in Montrose, The Seven-Up Bottling Group, Country Pure Foods, Caribou in Wallhaven, Bruegger’s Bakery, and Acme.
“This event is such an amazing success because of the many community businesses who donate to us, the sponsors who support us year after year, the City of Fairlawn who is instrumental in the planning, and the exhibitors who are here offering more support to our cancer community,” said Events Coordinator Raven DeVoll.
For more information about the Hope Walk visit StewartsCaringPlace.org and visit Facebook.com/StewartsCancer to look at some of the great photos from the walk.
For additional information, please contact Events Coordinator Raven DeVoll at 330.836.1772; firstname.lastname@example.org.