Community Unites to Battle Breast Cancer

The following letter appeared in local newspapers and is reprinted here with permission of the author Tom Gentz. Mr. Gentz is President of the Charlestown Town Council.

On Oct. 4, the 2nd annual Twin Peaks Preservation Stroll 5K Walk/Stroll supporting breast cancer stepped off at the Charlestown Rathskeller. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Pat Ready, a breast cancer survivor of 21 years and Nancy Ringler, a breast cancer survivor of two years, joined forces to bring cancer awareness to southern Rhode Island. The proceeds go to the American Cancer Society to fight all cancers.

These two brave survivors are to be commended by increasing cancer awareness, the need for early detection and finding a cure for this horrific disease that affects someone in all our families.

Last year, they raised $8,000 for the American Cancer Society and this year they will donate over $9,000.

To reach that goal, they have received corporate donations from the following Charlestown businesses: Charlestown Rathskeller (Host), Kingstown Turf Farms, Tom Ready & Sons Excavating, All-Ready Septic Service, Jackson Surveying, ABRI Construction, Randall Reality, Motterstitch Co., Pat’s Power Equipment, Larlham Landscape Contruction Co., Air Metal Work, Gough Landscaping and Excavation, Stastiunas Companies, Rick and Nancy Ringler, Washington County Physical Therapy, Beaches and Backroads Reality, Mutley’s Dog Grooming, Jordan Plumbing and Mechanical, and 401 Studios.

T-shirts were sold to increase the spirit of the day.

Tom Ready sang an original song entitled “She will survive” that he composed in honor of these two brave cancer survivors.

Attorney Joe Scott, a friend of Pat Ready, spoke about how his mother’s breast cancer devastated him as a young adult.

State Rep. Blake Filippi spoke at the event about the power of all present to finally beat cancer.

He said: “Nearly 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives – that is one woman every 3 minutes. And 40,000 die every year. Breast cancer does not just affect those fighting the disease, the survivors, or those we’ve lost. It also affects those that know and love them too — which is most people in the country. Including my family. Courage, faith, determination and hope are attributes of those fighting this disease, but also of the survivors who keep the battle for a cure in the public eye long after they are in remission, so that others may be spared. The cure will be found as a result of public awareness, and the necessary conduits are survivors such as Patty and Nancy who bravely own their lives and share their stories with us. Their message deputizes us as partners in the fight so that our daughters and granddaughters will live free of this disease. So, thank you Patty and Nancy for raising awareness — and everyone here that has answered the call.”

The Charlestown Rathskeller sponsored their Harvest Festival Friday, Saturday and Sunday in addition to the Twin Peaks Preservation Stroll for Cancer. The Rathskeller offered breakfast, coffee and water for survivors and participants.

Pat Ready and Nancy Ringler embody the true spirit of Charlestown by giving back unselfishly to the town of Charlestown. I was honored to speak about how cancer had affected my family and walk with them.

Tom Gentz