The two women had submitted their stories to the Surviving to Share committee in hopes that their experiences might give hope to others, and they were chosen to be honored at the annual Surviving to Share banquet at the club.
Redmond Regional Medical Center, along with other local sponsors, hosts a contest in which cancer survivors tell their stories of hope and inspiration, pain and perseverance. This year two winners were chosen and were celebrated at the banquet, along with their families and caregivers.
This year’s banquet included a presentation by keynote speaker Martha Lanier, a breast cancer and heart attack survivor herself who used humor and reliance on positive thinking and laughter to inspire those in attendance.
But the evening was about the survivors and their stories. Davis’ story was chosen as the survivor story winner, and Bagley’s story of her loving husband Buddy was chosen as the Care Giver winner.
The winners don’t know they’ve been chosen until their stories are read aloud at the banquet.
Davis’ story spoke of her fear and disbelief at a breast cancer diagnosis.
“This didn’t seem real,” she wrote. “Not me, a wife and a mother. This is me they are talking about. Oh my God. I have breast cancer. What should I do next? Who’s gonna take care of my children and my husband? What am I gonna do about my job?”
But a long journey that included surgery, hospital visits, radiation and chemo therapy, a long list of medication and lots of prayers finally paid off for Davis when she announced to her family one Christmas day that she was cancer free.
“I thank God every day for the blessings of my new found friends, new and reunited family members and I thank God for a second chance at life,” she wrote. “A life that I know I will survive. I have survived. I am a survivor. Thank God.”
This was the first year a winner was chosen for a Caregiver story — honoring those who care for family, friends and loved ones battling breast cancer.
Bagley wrote a touching story telling of the dedication and love showered on her by her husband Buddy as she continues to battle stage four cancer that originated in her ovaries and had spread to her left breast, lymph nodes, stomach and lung.
“It has been a three-year journey so far and still going,” she wrote. “The approximate time line … was projected to be about two years. Thanks to Dr. Khan and my husband Buddy, we are still battling.”
Darlene wrote of Buddy’s patience, dedication and love. She wrote of his ability to lift her spirits and to allow her to see the light even in the darkest of times.
“My dear husband has been there for me through the passing of my mom in August, something I could not have made it through without his love and compassion,” she wrote. “I need him each day to help give me courage to keep strong and fight. He is always there all the way. I have only love and great respect and admiration for him. He has truly been an angel to me.”
Other awards presented at the banquet included two Medals for Mettle awards to survivor Megan Dmitrenko and caregiver Rick Payne. Medals for Mettle is an organization which accepts donated marathon and half marathon race medals and in turn gives them to those who are deserving of recognition for their own struggle.
Lisa Dempsey received the Pansy Dorling Humanitarian Award.
All the cancer survivors at the awards banquet received gift bags.
The winners received gift baskets and prizes including a stay at the Hawthorne Suites.