By: Heidi St. Jean
GREENVILLE – The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 8,990 new diagnoses of Breast Cancer in Maine by the end of 2012. Those statistics are staggering. With numbers like these Maine ranks the highest in the nation per population. Linda Osborne of East Millinocket knows this all too well. On January 2, 2011, Linda’s mother was diagnosed. At the time Linda was in her 9th month of pregnancy with twins and at home on modified bed rest when she got the call.
“My mother, Ellen had been suffering with severe chronic hip and back pain for months. She had been to the doctor’s office, specialists, had x-rays and MRIs…and yet still no answers. The medical professional in me knew this could not be good, but the daughter in me was optimistic.” Linda stated.
Linda’s mother lost her courageous battle on July 18th of 2011 at the young age of 58 (the same age her mother lost her battle with cancer) with her family by her side. Ellen Lakeman left behind her loving husband Willis “Mickey” Lakeman, married in 1974. Two daughters; Linda Osborne and her three children Brayden, and twins Ella & Lily. Ann Hebert and her daughter Kylie.
Linda then asked herself, “What does one do in this situation? How do you recover from such a loss?” It was then that Linda learned about the “Relay For Life” through a local softball tournament. Relay For Life is the largest fundraiser held nationwide for the American Cancer Society. The Relay For Life gave Linda an outlet to give back, at least a little, and to give more meaning to the loss of her mother. Since 2011 she has been fundraising for the ACS via the Relay For Life of the Katahdin area.
For Linda, the hope that one less family will have to go through what her family has been through makes every minute she has invested into the Relay For Life and the ACS worth it. “If one less person loses their mother, one less child cries himself to sleep at night because they miss their Grammie, or one more Grammie gets to meet their newest granddaughter…every penny I have helped to raise, every ounce of energy I have expended has been worth the time and effort. This gives me a reason and a purpose, here I can give back.”
And give back she does. Last year Linda helped raise $15,000 for Relay For Life. She designs her own “Fight Like A Girl” and “Save A Rack” T-Shirts. Indian Hill Trading Post in Greenville has generously donated their space and time to carry a line of these t-shirts, giving 100% of the profits to Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society. There are also donation cans on the counters and if you wish you can write a check out to the American Cancer Society and Indian Hill will pass it on to Linda. For those of you that are familiar with the Indian Hill Employees, you will recognize Linda’s dad “Mickey” as he is affectionately called, working the counter in the Sporting Goods section of Indian Hill.
Indian Hill Trading Post is carrying the Save A Rack T-Shirts (for both men and women) and the Fight Like A Girl T-shirts. If you can’t find what you are looking for you can get in touch with Linda below for special orders. She has hoodies and long sleeved T-shirts that can be ordered here:
Save A Rack
Fight Like A Girl
Please give your support today. Remember: “Cancer never sleeps, so we won’t either.”