Joe and Tammy Lefeber’s team at the Lombardi Walk for Cancer in Oshkosh definitely turns heads and inspires people. And they are surely ones to beat as the reigning champs of the Team Spirit Award for four years running.
“We pick a theme every year that is fun but also meaningful,” said Joe. “The first year we had a small team of 10 or so and we all dressed up like the TV show, ‘Survivor.’ We wanted everyone to know exactly who we were walking for.”
As a cancer survivor himself, Joe, along with his wife, Tammy, organize the team each year to give back. “I know I got lucky,” said Joe. “I can’t let that go to waste. There are a lot of walks and runs these days, but I wanted to walk for cancer research. It is so important – it saves lives.”
In 2009, he was diagnosed with thyroid gland cancer. “They told me on Tammy’s birthday, but I just couldn’t tell her. I didn’t want to ruin her birthday,” Joe said. After his gland was surgically removed and two rounds of radiation, Joe is now cancer free. He receives ongoing care at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic
at Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh.
Joe knows he has the best wife, friends and family in the world. “For all of them to show up, bring their kids, to do this walk every year – it means everything.”
The team has dressed up as “Fight Club” and walked with signs that read “Unite and Fight Cancer.” They even had a “Just Beat It” theme, with each walker wearing one white glove. Last year was a disco theme, “Stayin’ Alive,” and the team had nearly 40 walkers.
What will the theme be this year? “It will be a surprise,” said Joe.“You will have to come and walk to find out.”
Get your team together for this year’s Lombardi Walks for Cancer in Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Walworth County, go to Aurora.org/CancerWalk.