Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

September 30, 2013

Paying it Forward

TRAVERSE CITY — Roberta Lathrop was 9 when her mom lost her left breast to cancer, so cancer research is a personal cause.

“As I got older, anything that had the ribbon on it, I’d buy,” said Lathrop, of Traverse City, known to family and friends as “Bert.”

In 2006, when employer Bill Marsh Body and Paint formed a team for the Remembrance Run/Walk that benefits Munson Medical Center’s Women’s Cancer Fund, Lathrop jumped on board. Eventually she became the annual event’s top pledge raiser. The fund provides financial assistance for supportive care to women with cancer — help that isn’t found through traditional financial assistance programs.

“This was something I could do for my mom,” said Lathrop, who later helped organize the annual Bill Marsh Auto Group “Lunch on the Run” program to help boost the run.

But in 2011 it was Lathrop herself who needed assistance. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a single mastectomy.

“I don’t know why I was shocked, but I was,” said Lathrop, who had always known she was at risk for the disease. “The weird thing is I was 44, the same age my mom was when she was diagnosed, and it was my left breast too.”

Facing weeks off from work, Lathrop found herself turning to the Women’s Cancer Fund for help.

“I always raised money for them but I never thought I’d have to use them,” she said. “I was off a month so they paid to have my propane tank filled, which was a huge relief.”

Lathrop said she was “lucky” — she didn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation like her mother, who has battled breast cancer six times. Four months after her surgery she celebrated with a girls-only family trip to Orlando, Fla., where she had a large pink ribbon and the word “Survivor” tattooed above her left breast.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl