TERRE HAUTE —
At 29, Sarah Norton received news that changed her life.
She had breast cancer.
“I was very shocked in the beginning,” she said, adding that she was in a state of disbelief that something like this can happen to a 29 year old.
But breast cancer knows no age. It also did not take into account that Norton, a health and physical education teacher and mother of two toddlers, had to add treatments to her busy schedule.
Her treatment started the week she was diagnosed and she just decided to “take it one day at a time.”
But like others with breast cancer, Norton needed support.
Luckily, she was not alone. Norton turned to her husband, extended family and friends for support.
“The things that were done for me … just made such a difference,” she said.
Norton particularly recalls the generosity of the daycare center that provided dinner for her family on days when she had to undergo chemotherapy, a procedure which she said drains a person’s energy. So dinner on those nights was one less thing she had to do.
“The first day we picked up food, I just cried my heart out,” she said of the touching gesture.
But there are other breast cancer patients in the area that need support and a new Wabash Valley organization aims to provide it.
PINK (which stands for Passion, Initiative, Need & Knowledge) wants to “bridge the gap of patients and their everyday, unmet needs associated with their battle with breast cancer,” said co-founder Dr. Darren Brucken.
The charity aims to support breast cancer patients and their families.
Brucken said that many organizations are unable to meet patients’ individual needs because they are grant-driven so PINK was created to touch the lives of people “that can’t be touched by those larger, national organizations.”
PINK is also co-founded by Amy Bagnoche, a breast cancer survivor and friend of Brucken’s. The pair were inspired by the stories of breast cancer patients they have met.
Bagnoche recalls her interaction with other patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The patients told her tales of how the cancer affected their daily lives, particularly discussing the financial hardships it has imposed on them.
“They needed a friend, they just needed some extra help,” she said.
Touched by their stories, Bagnoche and Brucken started the process of forming PINK a year ago and the organization became functional this year.
The organization reached out to area health care providers and other breast cancer organizations emphasizing that they are “all on the same page with trying to benefit breast cancer patients,” Brucken said.
PINK already helped someone last week. A patient lost some furniture after her apartment was flooded and PINK helped her get bedroom furniture for her kids, Brucken said.
The organization is also planning to launch a program that will pair breast cancer patients with people who have previously walked in their footsteps. The “Cancer Companion Program,” will connect breast cancer patients with survivors and PINK volunteers to share their experiences and provide emotional support.
One of the volunteers is Norton, who said she decided to get involved to “help other women in the area to cope with this [breast cancer], to deal with this.”
The organization is currently raising awareness and funds. Founders said that 100 percent of the funds raised will stay in the area.
PINK hosted two events recently, with more large-scale events planned for the end of the year, Brucken said. One of the events was the 2nd Golf Outing at Idle Creek Golf Course on Saturday.
On Friday, PINK supporters gathered at Bogey’s Family Fun Center for the group’s fundraising event, “PINK Party.” In addition to dinner and outdoor activities, attendees were treated to a concert by “The Adam Craig Band” of Nashville, Tenn., and an appearance by the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders.
Two Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders greeted guests and signed autographs. Stephanie B. and Sophie T. usually wear the color blue but at the event, the signature Indianapolis Colts horseshoe was pink. The color and their presence “show our support of breast cancer awareness,” Terre Haute resident and Indiana State University student Stephanie B., said.
Another guest who came to show his support was Brian LeMaster. Wearing his pink shirt, he said the event is a “good night out with a bunch of friends but for a good cause.”
Other attendees came for more personal reasons.
“My mom had breast cancer so I thought I’d come out and support,” said Terre Haute resident Amanda Adamson who attended with her two daughters.
She said the event is “awesome … it’s great to get families together.”
It is also a reminder to people “of how unfortunately common breast cancer is,” Adamson said.
Tribune-Star reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-231-4299.
TERRE HAUTE —
At 29, Sarah Norton received news that changed her life.
- Local & Bistate
Purdue shooting leaves one person dead
A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.
Their dream rises: Mother-daughter duo team up to expand eastside bakery
As she gently formed a round sourdough, Marta Shelton seemed to hold her dreams in the palm of her hands.
THS grad Miller among students in adjacent building when shooting occurs
Kris Miller and his roommate were in a computer lab of Purdue’s mechanical engineering building Tuesday when they received a call that a shooting had occurred next door.
Bosma moves gay marriage ban bill to friendlier committee
Republican House of Representatives Speaker Brian Bosma sent a bill that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a more conservative-leaning legislature committee Tuesday, because it lacked support on the first committee to which it was assigned.
We enter the deep freeze again
If you had to step outside to get your newspaper this morning, you might have noticed it’s painfully cold once again.
Levy redirects school funds
If the new “protected levy” legislation goes into effect later this year, it would mean “a substantial reduction” in revenue for Vigo County School Corp. bus transportation, capital projects and bus replacement funds, according to the district’s chief financial officer.
School debt levy redirects funds across Indiana
School officials and state legislators from around the state are searching for ways to keep the school buses running — and children safe on the streets — pending the loss of millions of dollars for school transportation.
More than 50 school districts in Indiana stand to lose at least 20 percent of their revenues for transportation, new buses and other big-ticket projects under a new law that requires them to first pay off their debts.
VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board
Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.
Vigo coroner tries again for salary increase
After being denied last year, Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos is again seeking to have her county salary increased to match that of several other county office holders.
Church resurrected: Prairie Creek church that burned in the midst of a winter storm ready for rebirth
From the ashes of a devastating winter fire comes out a church reborn.
Vigo School Board to approve central pool bond resolution
On Monday, the Vigo County School Board will receive an update on a planned, $9.8 million aquatics center that will be built in Voorhees Park.
Inconsistent help: FEMA’s disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders
Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister blew out windows and tore the roof off her house. Hers was one of scores of homes and businesses in Howard County that were damaged or demolished by the storm.
A team of Vigo County high school students — and its robot — are gearing up to compete against 127 teams from throughout the world in an upcoming international robotics competition.
VCPL to install free ‘little libraries’
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: A Little Free Library.
Flaws in new ed standards ‘too substantial’
A State Board of Education member formally requested Friday that an education panel abandon a proposed overhaul of Indiana’s education standards and instead recommend that the state’s previous benchmarks be reinstated in classrooms this fall.
Spike in mumps cases reported across Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Public health officials are investigating a sharp increase in the number of mumps cases recorded in central Illinois.
Police: Fatal fire began with dropped cigarette
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — State police say a fatal house fire in a southern Indiana town began when a disabled woman dropped a cigarette.
Board member asks for old Indiana school standards
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A State Board of Education member is calling for a proposed overhaul of Indiana’s education standards to be ditched and that the state’s old benchmarks be reinstated in classrooms this fall.
A real page turner
Victory was sweet for the Franklin Elementary teammates, who won their first ever Battle of the Books competition Thursday at Meadows Elementary.
Rep. Bucshon leads discussion on minority care in Vigo County
The list of problems seems endless: Lack of health insurance, mental illness, cultural barriers and stigmas about routine medical check ups, to name only a few.
Vigo County students, educators recently made a 2-week trip to Terre Haute’s sister city of Tajimi
Six Vigo County high school students and two educators, including superintendent Dan Tanoos, recently returned from a two-week cultural exchange trip to Tajimi, Japan.
Tribune-Star columnist named company’s best
The Tribune-Star’s Mark Bennett has been named CNHI’s Columnist of the Year for 2013 in its large newspaper division.
Clay man arrested on drug charges
An eight-month investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of Wednesday of a Clay County man on meth-related charges, authorities said.
Drug raid leads to arrest of siblings
Siblings were arrested Thursday after police said they discovered an active meth lab in a Terre Haute home, authorities said.
Visions, Voices project to mark decade of work
Wabash Valley Visions & Voices Digital Memory Project will mark a decade of Hoosier historical preservation at its anniversary kickoff event Tuesday.
Vigo County Jail Log: April 17, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Wednesday and Thursday, based on jail records.
Remember Your First Car?
Tell us about it! Your memories could be part of an upcoming story in the Tribune-Star. Click on this story to find out how.
An ambassador of Wabash Valley sports
Veteran Tribune-Star sports reporter Andy Amey will be inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame on Saturday in Indianapolis.
Former Vigo treasurer facing $26,000 bill
Former Vigo County Treasurer David Crockett could be required to personally pay back more than $26,000 to reconcile a bookkeeping discrepancy discovered in 2012 during an audit from the Indiana State Board of Accounts.
MARK BENNETT: Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a 10¢ deposit
Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- Purdue shooting leaves one person dead