When Life Throws a Curve Ball, Cancer Survivors Say the Game Isn't Over

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Unlike your typical fan at a ball game, two-time cancer survivor Skeeter Smith wears a different uniform.

"Since 2011 I've worn pink almost every day," said Smith.

Smith has worn pink every day since being diagnosed with breast cancer. She even special ordered her work clothes to be pink.

Then just one year later, Smith went to her doctor for a check-up and was devastated again when her doctor said she had kidney cancer.

"Really you go numb. You don't hear anything. That's all you can hear is that you have cancer," said Smith. "You don't know if you're going to live or die. You have no idea. That's kind of the scary part."

Smith says that checkup might have saved her life, and therefore credits breast cancer with saving her life. She continues to give back to patients currently going through cancer treatment. She volunteers weekly at SOMC.

Saturday she joined fellow survivors and community members for SOMC's "Paint It Pink" celebrity softball game at Branch Rickey Stadium in Portsmouth.

The free event wasn't about raising money, but awareness.

"To let everybody know that's unfortunately had to go through this dreaded disease, whether they've had it, been a survivor or a family member, the entire community's here to help them," said participant Steve Sturgill.

Celebrities included local doctors, business leaders, Shawnee State University staff and SOMC staff.

The game wrapped up a week of "Paint It Pink" events. SOMC has events every October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this was the first celebrity softball game.

The event was a partnership between SOMC, Shawnee State University and Portsmouth Vision Center.

Though the game was free, they are selling "Paint It Pink" shirts all month to raise money for the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund. The money goes towards helping patients undergoing treatment -- expenses like wigs, medication, and gas and transportation to get to and from appointments.

"I think as a cancer survivor myself, I look back to that and I think about all the people that helped me and all the little things that are going on in your life," said Director of SOMC Cancer Services Wendi Waugh. "I believe that helping to take care of some of those things, just those little things, makes a huge difference in their lives and in their treatment and in the ability to get their treatment."

The pink team faced off against the blue team on the diamond. The stadium was filled with music, cheering fans and a lot of pink. A day of friendly competition, Smith says, to remind cancer patients that there is life after treatment.



 
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