2 Women Turn To Their Faith After Breast Cancer Hits Close To Home

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Their churches may differ.

“My name is Darlene Tansmore and I’m captain of team Enon.”

“My name is Lynne Dudley and I am captain of St. Matthew’s AME Church Team Healing Hands.”

But their cause united them.

For Komen Race for the Cure co-chair Lynne Dudley, it was her grandmother Mayme Simms.

“My grandmother was diagnosed at 70 years old. She handled it with such grace.”

For fellow co-chair Darlene Tansmore, it was her cousin Audrey Drummond.

“When she told me, my first reaction was, what do we need to do?”

Both Lynne and Darlene say they immediately relied on their faith and their fellow congregants. Which was St. Matthew’s in West Philadelphia for Lynne.

“Faith is so important because when you have nothing else, you have your faith,” says Lynne.

And the Cancer Ministry at Enon Tabernacle in Mt. Airy for Darlene.

“If I didn’t have faith prior, I don’t know how I would have dealt with it.”

Reverend Blane Newberry has led the ministry there since it started in 2008, consoling the group when they want it and providing strength when they need it.

“We’ll go to your appointments with you. We’ll come the day of surgery. We’ll pray with you as much as it takes.”

But life dealt Reverend Newberry an unexpected blow when he himself would be in need of prayers for his health.

“It just so happened that four years later I’m diagnosed with prostate cancer.”

Reverend Newberry beat the cancer and Darlene’s cousin Audrey also survived her cancer. Lynne’s grandmother Mayme died from it when she was 85.

While the shock of the diagnosis and treatments are behind them, Lynne and Darlene recognize the work is far from over, and that’s where Komen and Race for the Cure come in.

“You have survivors, mothers, daughters, sons, supporters and you can see just from the crowd that number of people are spreading the word,” says Lynne.

Spreading awareness, but also raising money for research for a breast cancer cure.

Between the two churches, Lynne and Darlene have each raised tens of thousands of dollars, hoping that money makes an impact on the future of the disease.

“I do think about my grandmother, and say, ‘You know grandma, I hope your proud of the work I’m doing because you’re such an inspiration.’ It’s all in her name.”

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