GREEN BAY – Linda Moudry is on a mission.
Over the past two years, she’s raised almost $20,000 for the Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer. That’s a lot of money for a single person to raise, but it’s not the dollar amount that motivates her to make a difference.
It all started when her best friend Kay was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Kay was 44 years old and the prognosis wasn’t good; nine of 11 lymph nodes were affected. But as Linda recalls, “Kay was a fighter. She did well with her chemo. She did go into remission.”
But this wouldn’t be Kay’s last battle with cancer.
Years later, she was diagnosed with lung and liver cancer. Kay was a smoker and was told the cancer was a result of her habit. To make matters worse, it had spread to her brain and she had to have radiation therapy. Her care team at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Green Bay stayed strong and was always there for her, from her radiation oncologist to her cancer nurse navigators.
“They got answers for me when we were at home and I knew something was wrong,” said Linda. “I know there are places reserved in heaven for people like them, who do so much to help others.”
Linda was also deeply grateful for Kay’s Aurora Cancer Care oncologist, Umang Gautam, MD.
“We had a wonderful relationship with him. He’s a very kind and compassionate man who is also a good listener.”
Kay fought the good fight for 20 months. Dr. Gautam even had a nickname for her: “the Lioness.” “I will always remember that,” Linda recalled. “And he tells it like it is.”
Is Linda planning to walk again this year? Absolutely. And “determined” doesn’t even begin to describe her fundraising efforts. She isn’t afraid to ask for donations in person or send requests by mail. She’ll even pay for their return postage.
“All they had to do was drop the check in the envelope and mail it back to me,” she said. “I also included a business card that read, ‘You Make a Difference.’”
Kay’s battle with cancer isn’t the only one that has touched Linda’s life and left a profound impact.
“Many of my friends have been affected by this terrible disease,” she said.
And she’s taking it upon herself to strike back.
“Nothing will change if we all sit back and wait for someone else to do something about it.”
How you can help
Sign up for one of 10 Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer events near you. Money raised will support local cancer care and research initiatives by Aurora Cancer Care and is eligible for a 50 percent match from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
All proceeds from the Lombardi Walk to Tackle Cancer will stay local. To see all walk locations and join the team, go to LombardiWalk.org.