Over 2,000 walkers, runners, survivors and supporters attended the 2nd Annual Step Up for Stefanie’s Champions Walk/Run on April 22, 2017. Participants walked or ran a four-mile or one-mile route that started at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center.
Entertainers performed along the route, and a Motor Sports Harley Owners Group made a Rumble Road to encourage walkers and runners by revving their engines as racers passed them. Chris Spielman was the event chair, and radio personalities Maddie Spielman and Matt McCoy served as emcees.
Step Up for Stefanie’s Champions benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the OSUCCC – James. Four Champions were recognized prior to the start of the race. These individuals have demonstrated tremendous support for patients during their cancer treatment and recovery.
Established in 2000 by former OSUCCC – James patient Stefanie Spielman and her husband, Chris Spielman, the Champion award honors those whose dedication and strength were powerful influences in the lives of cancer survivors. The first Champion award was given by Stefanie to Chris, who put his professional football career on hold to care for her throughout her experience with breast cancer.
Champions can be nominated by all cancer survivors, regardless of whether they received treatment at the OSUCCC – James. Honorees are selected by a national award committee made up of business/community leaders, patients and faculty at the OSUCCC – James.
Meet Our 2017 Champions
Nominated by his wife, Lorraine Pennyman
Chontae was nominated by his college sweetheart and wife, Lorraine, a five-year thymic cancer survivor. Listening to his intuition, Chontae encouraged Lorraine, a mother of three young children, to visit the emergency department when she thought she had a bad case of food poisoning. They eventually learned her diagnosis was far more serious.
When Lorraine faced the immense difficulty of chemotherapy and surgery, Chontae was a constant companion and support for her and their family. He never missed a doctor’s appointment while managing a household of three young children.
“His sacrifices were immeasurable as he placed all of his professional goals on hold to make sure we won this battle together as a family,” Lorraine recalls.
Nominated by her friend, Donna Albers
Elaine was nominated by her friend, Donna Albers, an ovarian cancer survivor. Elaine and Donna met in high school and have been friends for more than 30 years. When Donna had to face a third cancer diagnosis, she knew that she could rely on Elaine to be by her side.
“I am fully aware that her husband and three sons have sacrificed with her absence while doing ‘Donna Duty,’ and I feel the need to take the time to acknowledge her in every way possible,” says Donna. “She has taught me that joy and laughter are a daily necessity, and she always makes sure that I receive my daily dose.”
Nominated by her daughter, Meghan Frazer
Kathy was nominated by her daughter, Meghan, a breast cancer survivor. Despite living two hours away, Meghan recalls her mother being by her side for every appointment, surgery and session of chemo.
Looking back on her journey, Meghan recalls her mom’s energy and commitment to defeating her cancer as a team. “My mom met every doctor and asked smart questions when I was so stressed out I couldn’t remember my name. She made friends with every nurse and volunteer. The first time I sat in that waiting room without her, it felt like a part of me was missing.”
Nominated by her daughter, Kimberly Wiford
Elaine was nominated by her daughter, Kimberly Wiford, a breast cancer survivor. When the 33-year-old mother of three heard the words, “You have cancer,” she turned to her mother for guidance and assurance. Elaine immediately called the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center on behalf of Kimberly to get an appointment and begin the process of treatment.
“All of the life changes and challenges that cancer still has in store for me have nothing on me. They have nothing on my mom. She is my champion. I know that, because of her, we will prevail,” says Kimberly.