Recently, Smith employees raised $3,323 and had 22 participants attend the Komen Houston Race for the Cure® to raise awareness of the importance of early breast cancer detection. Attendees walked or ran through downtown Houston and then participated in a Survivor Celebration afterward.
“The energy at the event was incredible,” said Jessica Yu, Smith’s Asia Marketing Manager. “Everyone was cheering and so excited to help beat breast cancer.”
Benefits Coordinator Charlee Wallace was captivated by the love and support participants shared with those affected by the condition. Many offered kind words, hugs, and other signs of encouragement to survivors and women who are still fighting the disease, including Smith’s Payroll Administrator, Shirley Jolly.
“It’s pretty breathtaking because there’s so many people there – you don’t realize how many people are affected by breast cancer,” Charlee said. “I’ve participated in the walk before, but it hit me harder this time because of Shirley.”
Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2018. She finished chemotherapy treatments this past August and is currently undergoing radiation therapy. She said that her experience has shaped her commitment to the cause.
“The reason I did the event was to raise awareness and show support to all the women who have gone through this before me, all the women who are going through it with me now, and for all the women who will have to go through it in the future,” Shirley said. Many of Smith’s employees were eager to join her at the event.
“The support for Shirley really came from every department,” Jessica said. “It was nice seeing so many coworkers rallying around her.”
Shirley used a customized wheelchair that was donated to her so that she could participate in the event. She said she was honored by the support she received from Smith and the event participants and is already excited to attend next year’s race.
“I didn’t walk because of the side effects of the treatment,” Shirley said. “But my goal is to walk it next year.”