Almost eight years ago, at the age of 55, Ella Jane Hampton was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, after undergoing chemo and radiation and fighting for not only herself, but also her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Ella beat her cancer. Now, Ella has turned her experience into something positive through her work with the Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Just as Ella’s hair was growing back in 2004, Ella and husband Clyde participated as individuals in their first Race to see what all the hype was about. After that, the two decided to form a team, aptly named “Ella’s Angels” by Clyde, and began their efforts to add new team members and secure donations.
“We were both so overwhelmed with the participation of the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure that we knew we had to devote ourselves to being involved with such a wonderful organization in their commitment to raise awareness of the importance of a positive breast health program,” says Ella.
Ella recognizes that people all have different reasons to walk, but that in general almost everyone has been touched by someone who has had, and possibly died, from breast cancer. She recognizes the significance of this and says that ultimately she walks so that Komen can continue its dedication to fight this horrible disease.
“Being a part of Komen Columbus gives me a way to fight back for the people I love, for the people that have lost their battle – anything I can do to help prevent others from my diagnosis is a cause I am honored to be a part of,” Ella says. “Breast cancer is really a family disease and everyone in the family needs support.”
Now, in its sixth year, Ella’s Angels hopes to raise $5,000, which Ella believes is possible due to their past success. Ella has even been recognized as one of the top 100 individual fundraisers by Komen Columbus, but thanks all of the people who supported her, without whom it would not have been possible.
In order to reach this goal, Ella has a variety of interesting fundraisers lined up. These include an auction for baked goods (homemade by Ella herself), a luncheon held at Ella’s office for the tenants of her building, a “Pot Belly” jug that is always out for donations and Ella’s participation in her “Community Garage Sale.”
This year’s garage sale will be held on May 21 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 677 Heather Lane, but not in the usual way. While she does have a lot of “precious things” to give away, Ella says the main focus is on the PINK breast cancer display she has in the front yard. This display will consist of brochures, reminders and other educational materials and tokens she has collected through various Komen Columbus functions. She says it is important to make sure everyone takes the time to pick them up.
“I get so wrapped up in talking with people about eradicating breast cancer, the importance of screening and education and treatment that, needless to say I have to be the only person I know that comes out in the red from a garage sale!” exclaims Ella. “Thank God they are once a year! However, I do manage to get donations!”
It is my hope that Ella’s story has inspired some of you, and you will join her celebration of survival, honor of those who have lost their lives and fundraising efforts for those still fighting at this year’s Race for the Cure. Donate to Ella and support Ella’s Angels here.
Guest post by Lexi Sweet