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Helping to Give the Boot to Cancer

Melody Hornbrook
Melody Hornbrook

Melody Hornbrook was 21 years old and eight and a half months pregnant with her first child when she received a call from her mother ...

Melody Hornbrook was 21 years old and eight and a half months pregnant with her first child when she received a call from her mother.  Little did she know that call would change her life forever as her mother told Melody not to worry but there was a mass in her breast that needed to be removed.

Melody's world fell apart that day in May 1978. Back then, cancer was a death sentence. She needed her mother to be in her life now more than ever. Three days later, her mother had a double mastectomy. Just one day later, Melody's daughter was born.

Melody and her new baby spent the first six weeks of her life visiting doctor's offices - not for the baby, but to be by the new grandmother's side for radiation, chemotherapy and other appointments. For five years, her mom fought a gallant fight but sadly lost her battle on October 15, 1983.

In October 2001, Melody's former supervisor at work told her about a breast cancer walk and asked if she'd like to participate. Without one second of hesitation, Melody agreed and jumped in whole heartedly. She never looked back and each year walked and raised money for American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in San Diego. Her hope was no other daughter or family would have to feel the loss they had felt.

But in October 2005, those horrible words entered her life again when her sister called to inform Melody that a lump in her breast was cancer. With joy, Melody shares that her sister is a survivor! She goes on to say, "I know my sister's outcome is different than my mom's because so many participate in Strides to raise the money to make it possible."

Last year, in the midst of economic challenges, Melody raised over $26,000 - making her one of the top ten individual fundraisers in the nation for Making Strides. "I will continue to support Making Strides until the day we hear we have a cure," said Melody. I encourage everyone to walk just once, because it's an experience you will never forget!

After moving to the Dallas area, Melody even encouraged the American Cancer Society's North Texas Region staff to bring Making Strides to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While patiently waiting (and nudging), Melody stayed involved locally with the Society through other projects, while continuing to make the trek back to San Diego for Making Strides. Finally, staff was able to share the news with her that Making Strides Against Breast Cancer would indeed be coming to North Texas on October 22, 2011 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. No doubt, her mother is proud.


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