Brenda and Sue were best friends, almost like sisters. When Sue was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer Brenda was by Sue’s side at every moment. Together they drove to doctor appointments, held hands during chemo, cried together, laughed together and prayed desperately for a cure. Brenda and Sue walked their first Komen Race for the Cure in 2003 but by the next year Sue could only watch from the sidelines, too weak to walk. When Sue lost her insurance, Brenda remembers her friend’s fear of losing access to quality care and the ability to care for her young daughter. It was then that Brenda and Sue witnessed the power of the Komen Network. They were amazed at how many people offered support and joined in their fight to make sure Sue received the treatments she needed. Sadly, Sue lost her battle at a very young age. In her final days, Brenda promised Sue that she would never stop volunteering for Komen and raising money until a cure was found.
Over the following decade, Brenda and her husband Larry became deeply committed to the Komen Houston Race for the Cure® overseeing water stations, Race Day activities and the Kids for the Cure® Corral. It was during her second year of service on the Komen Houston Board of Directors that Brenda heard the words “You have breast cancer.” The journey she had traveled with Sue had now become her own. Her husband Larry never left her side and together, they re-lived the experience all over again.
Since her own diagnosis, Brenda and Larry have remained steadfast and generous supporters of Komen Houston. Together they have co-chaired the Komen Houston Pink Tie Gala and Survivor Party. They have made significant financial contributions, given tremendous amounts of precious time and inspired many friends and family members to get involved. Their commitment and passion is contagious and their resolve to find a cure is unwavering. And to top it off….they haven’t missed a Race in 17 years!
Remembering their friend Sue’s struggles, Brenda and Larry continue to give to Komen Houston because they see their dollars in action. They are grateful for Komen funding that ensures all women have access to life-saving mammograms, pays for treatment support, and steers them in the right direction once they hear those dreaded words. And they give for research, with the dream that someday their dollar will be the one that finds the cure and with hope that their beloved daughter-in-laws, granddaughters and Sue’s daughter will never have to claim the breast cancer journey as their own.
In Brenda’s words, “We give to Komen because Sue loved Komen and we love Komen… this is our life, and through God’s blessings it is our privilege.”