Darlene Koch's Story In Her Own Words Part 4

Now I will tell you have I became the Susan G. Komen Missouri 2016 Survivor of the Year.

Every year Susan G. Komen gives a luncheon. I had never been to one, mainly because I was busy making bracelets and selling them at a local grocery story. In 2016 Cathy who handles all the activities at the company where I work told me she had two tickets for the luncheon and asked if I would like to go. Her husband didn't like going to special luncheons like this. I told her yes I would love to go as I had no plans of selling bracelets that weekend.

I met Cathy at the hotel where the event was being held. I asked her what they do at the luncheon and she told me several people would get up and give speeches. It might be a doctor, a survivor or someone talking about breast cancer. Cathy told me that our boss would be coming but he would have to leave early for a family event. As we sat down I noticed that Cathy started to become nervous. She kept looking around for our boss and she told me to save their seats as she was going to watch for him and get him when he arrived. Then she said, "O, he's here. Stay here. I'll go get him". They stayed in back for a long time talking. When he sat down next to me he told me he had to leave early for his family event. He stayed the whole time, they all fooled me!

It was a beautiful, amazing event for me. I heard the speeches and some awards were given out. Then we had lunch. Helen Chestnut got up to give some awards to people. Then she said, "Now for the special award. The person I am giving this award to has since 2009 been giving garage sales.". I knew some others gave garage sales. Then she went on to say, "In 2014 her place of employment called to tell me that she had breast cancer", still I never knew it was me. Then she said, "This lady has been making bracelets and selling them in front of grocery stores." Then I knew and the tears were flowing like a river. I grabbed the beautiful linen napkin to dry my eyes. "Her name is Darlene Koch. Get up here Darlene!"

Wow what a total shock to me! Everyone did a great job of not letting me know. I never did consider myself as being special, just normal. I looked out over the sea of pink clapping, cheering and crying too. Up on stage I whispered in Helen's ear, "Thank you. No one told me". Helen said, "Quit crying, you will make me cry too just like everyone out there. Now try to smile!". I was shaking so much I could hardly make it down the stage steps. People would grab me, give me a big hug their well wishes. Still in shock over all of this but a really, really awesome shock! That is how I became the Susan G. Komen Missouri 2016 Survivor of the Year.

Monday we are going to finish Darlene's story with some personal thoughts and insights she would like to share with everyone who has been reading her story.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.