Pam is a 12-year breast cancer survivor who says she was “blessed with breast cancer.” As soon as she was diagnosed in 1994, Pam and her husband became determined to fight for her life and spread the message of breast health. Just after she completed chemotherapy, she volunteered for the Indianapolis Race for the Cure ®, handing out water to participants and has remained a volunteer since that time. She initiated a “team challenge” involving rival schools, organized the inaugural “Pink Parade” and implemented a “Kids for the Cure” program where children could participate in games and activities the day of the event. In 2004, as Komen Indianapolis Race for the Cure® Co-Chairs, Pam and her husband raised a record $1.4 million.
In 2000 she initiated “Bear Hugs for a Cure” in which children who have lost a parent to breast cancer are given a teddy bear with an inspirational poem and told to hug the bear when they need comfort. She gained financial support from her part-time employer, and together they donate approximately 100 bears a year through local oncologists offices. “A bear always understands and loves t be loved,” she says. Pam recently found a sponsor to support an on-going program for Hispanics and women of color to bring awareness and self-breast exam techniques to this high-risk population. Pam, along with the assistance of a translator, presents monthly seminars. After only a few sessions three women have found lumps, one of which was malignant.
As Pam completed last minute preparations for the 2004 Race she learned that her sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Undeterred, she walked hand in hand with her to lead the Pink Parade. Many have said that Pam should have the Superman “S” emblazoned on her chest. But she did us one better by having a pink ribbon permanently tattooed above her reconstructed breast so that she can proudly wear the pink ribbon always.