Features
Pink highway
Truckers proudly wear pink to honor family, friends affected by breast cancer

By Clarissa Kell-Holland
staff writer

 

I am proud to say that I convoyed with some of the most courageous truckers you will ever meet at the first-ever U.S. Convoy for a Cure to raise money for breast cancer research in October.

Many of the women truckers I met at the Cure convoy are also breast cancer survivors, who have done battle with this brutal disease and won. Their survival stories would truly touch your heart. I know they did mine.

They are determined to support efforts to “drive out breast cancer one truck at a time” by raising money for research and for early detection efforts.

OOIDA Life Member Cindy Stowe of Will’s Point, TX, organized the Texas convoy, which had 31 trucks and raised $13,000 for breast cancer research. I am happy to report that Cindy has already confirmed there will be a convoy next year at Willie’s Place.

“It was a good day for the trucking industry,” Cindy told me. “This was a positive event that showed our industry in a positive light and raised money for a worthy cause.”

Representing Canada, Cure convoy founder Rachèle Champagne and Chantal Rheault were there as well. A total of four convoys, three in Canada and one in the U.S., raised nearly $100,000 for breast cancer research.

“This has been an amazing experience,” Rachèle said.

OOIDA Members Clarence Davis and Terry Burdette Davis of Rochester, NY, convoyed for their friend, Karen, who is currently battling breast cancer.

The Davises explained to other drivers what they were doing and why. They also told drivers they would put the names of their loved ones affected by breast cancer on the side of their truck if they made a donation to the Cure convoy.

“We ended up with at least 12 names on our truck,” Terry Davis said. “Everyone had a story to tell us about someone they knew who had breast cancer.”

Also at the convoy was OOIDA Member Michele White of Rockwood, TN, who has battled cancer not once, not twice, but five times, and has beaten it back every time. She is an amazing woman, let me tell you. Michele also raised the most money and earned the lead truck position at the convoy.

Michele told me why she felt compelled to attend the convoy. She said she wasn’t there to tell her story for pity or sympathy, but to get the message out to other truckers in attendance about the importance of early detection.

“I truly believe early detection has saved me every time, so if you feel that something is wrong, get it checked out. Don’t wait until it’s too late,” she said. “My philosophy now is that every day you wake up breathing is a good day.”

OOIDA Member Pamela Schrade of Boaz, KY, is a two-year breast cancer survivor. Just days after getting released by her doctor after surgery, she was back on the road trucking and hasn’t looked back since.

“When I heard about the convoy, I knew I needed to be a part of it,” she said. LL

 

clarissa_kell-holland@landlinemag.com