My name is Ella Jane Hampton and I am proud to be this year’s Honorary Chair for the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.
This year, I will be celebrating 11 years of survivorship and I count my blessings every day for not putting off my yearly mammogram. I have a family history of breast cancer, and I know the importance of early detection and “knowing your normal.”
Even with a family history of breast cancer, I was still shocked when I heard my diagnosis. I thought of my husband, my children, my grandchildren, and my mother. My husband Clyde, who usually goes with me to my mammograms, was stuck in traffic when the doctor gave me the news. When I finally got down to the car, I broke down and cried and called Clyde. He met me in the parking lot, and we cried together, and decided it was time to fight and that I was going to beat this.
Life is complicated but I choose to be a positive person. There’s a reason I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I believe it was for others to learn something from me. I never looked at this as a sickness; I looked at my diagnosis as an opportunity to share my positivity with others.
While I was undergoing chemo and radiation I realized I was fighting not only for myself, but also for the people I love in my life. There were times, while I was waiting for my chemo/radiation treatments, that I noticed some people did not have anyone there with them. I remember feeling scared and overwhelmed but I was fortunate to have Clyde with me at every appointment. Seeing those people by themselves in that waiting room didn’t sit well with me and I promised myself I was going to do something about it.
Every six months, when I go for my follow up appointments at Columbus Oncology, I make it a point to talk with the other patients. I bring them small gifts to cheer them up. We laugh, we cry, but most importantly I tell them there is hope and they are not alone.
Clyde and I went to our first Komen Columbus Race for the Cure in 2004 and I tell ya, I think I cried the entire time. When you are at the Race, you realize how many people are affected by breast cancer.
The next year, Clyde and I decided to form a team called, “Ella’s Angels” and fundraise for Komen Columbus. Since 2005, we’ve raised approximately $24,000 and I have been one of the Top 100 fundraisers since we began. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000!
This Race season, I encourage you to fundraise to support some of the most promising research in the country that Susan G. Komen is funding. I encourage you to fundraise to help those women and men in our community who don’t have access to basic breast health care.
We all have our own reasons why we walk. Some walk in memory of or in support of someone they know who is battling breast cancer or someone who has lost the battle to breast cancer. Ultimately we walk because others can’t. We walk so that one day others won’t have to.
Please join me on Saturday, May 17. Register today.
All my Best,
Ella Jane Hampton
2014 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure Honorary Chair