THS grads form team for friend in Komen cancer walk benefit
When students sign their classmates’ yearbooks, they often write sentiments such as, “Best Friends Forever,” but in many cases, they find themselves on paths that separate them. A group of students who graduated from Tecumseh High School between the years 1992 and 1994 have gone against the grain, however, and remained close friends. Their bond is now being further strengthened as they rally around one friend, Stacy (Dapprich) Adams, who has battled breast cancer.
Stacy, a 1992 THS graduate, finished chemo and radiation treatments in November and still faces reconstructive surgery in the spring.
“Everything happened fast,” said Stacy’s friend and classmate, Ginnie Echter, now a teacher at Tecumseh Middle School. “She told us all in May of last year that she’d been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and was going in for a double mastectomy.” Doctors discovered the cancer was also in her lymph system and ordered the chemo and radiation. “Her determination and strong will has inspired us in more ways than you can possibly imagine.”
On New Year’s Eve, Stacy told her friends one of the things she really wanted to do was take part in a breast cancer walk. The friends decided to form a 15-member walking team called The Cureators, because their ultimate goal is to find a cure. With a goal to raise $40,000 before the August 16-18 event in the Detroit area, each participant needs to raise $2,300.
“Eleven of us are Tecumseh High School graduates, and some of us have been together since elementary school,” said Ginnie. She added that 75 percent of the funds raised go to Susan G. Komen for research, and the other 25 percent to community outreach programs. The Cureators have planned several fundraisers and will be adding others between now and this summer. On April 8, there will be a benefit dinner at Danley’s Country House restaurant all day; April 19 features a Jazzercise benefit from 7-9 p.m.; April 27 brings a vendor party fundraiser/raffle from 1-3 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church. Ginnie said Tecumseh businesses will also be selling pink ribbons to add to team fundraising efforts.
“We’ll be walking a 60 mile course over three days,” said Ginnie. “We’re getting ready by walking on our own, but we’ll meet as a group in May for a 10-mile walk together.” Stacy will undergo her reconstructive surgery in April, but Ginnie and the team believe that she will be ready to go after that. “When she sets her mind on something, she does it,” Ginnie said. “She’s literally one of the strongest people that I know.” She pointed out that Stacy has already raised her share of the funds toward the goal the team set.
Ginnie said she realizes it is a bit unusual for such a large group of friends to still be close 20 years after high school, but there is a sense of camaraderie between them.
“Some lived in apartments together while in college, and several of us have stood up at each other’s weddings,” said Ginnie. “We’ve just all kept in touch. Some friendships stand the test of time.”
She said Stacy is grateful for the support and wants to do something to draw attention to the disease and help fund research for a cure.
“She’s an open book and talks about it,” Ginnie said. “She’s got a four-year-old son, Cooper and a husband, Jay, and they mean the world to her.”
Stacy’s sister Michelle (Dapprich) Eardley is captain for the team which includes: Stacy (Dapprich) Adams, Charity (Allen) Beeman, Kara (Gillen) Buenaflor, Angila (Simpson) Chapman, Jody (Coury) Dettling, Ginnie (Fairbanks) Echter, Jeanelle (Griffin) Faulkner, Toni (Towne) Kilkeary, Aimee McCarty, Donna (Rakoczy) Platt, Ivy Powell, Kelly (Lemay) Stahl, Amy (Sackett) Sweinhagen and Sarah (Gonser) Waller.
“We know other groups from Tecumseh have walked before, but I don’t think there’s been one this size or trying to raise this much money,” said Ginnie. “I know this will be one of the most amazing things that I will ever do in my lifetime.”
To access The Cureator’s website and follow their fundraising events, visit http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2013/MichiganEvent2013?team_id=218945&pg=....