RUNWAY FOR HOPE: LYNN LENTSCHER’S SPEECH
Saturday, October 5, 2019
The Be the Difference Foundation presented Runway for Hope, a luncheon and fashion show benefiting Mary Crowley Cancer Research on September 26th. This speech was given by Be the Difference co-founder, Runway for Hope co-chair, and ovarian cancer survivor Lynn Lentscher (pictured at right with co-chair Sheryl Yonack).
Runway For Hope
Hope Lives Here
Raising Hope. Targeting Ovarian Cancer
Hope is easy to say, may be difficult to inspire and can be elusive to believe.
But we want all women to keep hoping, no matter what the odds.
In 1998, when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer, I didn’t know where to turn. Cancer was still considered a death sentence, and people didn’t speak about ovaries. it was a cancer down there, or perhaps a female cancer. But upon diagnosis, my doctor said, Lynn if I don’t kill you, I think I can save your life and I responded with I’ll be the best sick person you’ve ever seen. Surprisingly, for me, hope rang eternal.
Today we celebrate Charlotte Huthnance who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017. I remember her riding in our Wheel to Survive event sporting a big cowboy hat dressed in bright yellow, surrounded by friends and family and a trail of children. She was so full of hope and joy. We all loved her and she inspired us. Charlotte recurred and was being treated at Mary Crowley, not only with scientific clinical trials, but with love and hope, optimism and caring people. Charlotte was so excited to be one of our beautiful models today, but instead, she honored with the best seat in the house.
So why did we choose Mary Crowley? Five years ago one of my favorite sorority sisters was diagnosed. She lived in Florida and was treated there and went into remission. 2 years later she recurred, couldn’t be treated by her original doctor and could get no answers. I asked her to come to be treated in Dallas. I called Mary Crowley in the morning, received a return phone call by mid-morning and by afternoon, Pam’s records were being reviewed by a doctor. Unfortunately, it was too late for Pam, but hope was offered to her.
I have called and immediately received return calls for a friend with prostate cancer, a friend with pancreatic cancer and yet another with ovarian cancer. Their stories were bleak, their timing was late and their results were sad. However, calls and emails and visits were met with love and concern, optimism and hope. Hope does live here, so the better question is why not Mary Crowley?
Mary Crowley has saved lives and extended the lives of hundreds of people through clinical trials. Every dollar we raise here today is earmarked for ovarian cancer, which may support one of our beautiful models here today….or perhaps, one day, your mother, daughter, sister or friend. Ovarian cancer is a beast which shows no boundaries. So you see, hope does live here and is present in every one of you who made the decision to Be The Difference today. That’s why we chose Mary Crowley.