It is often said that Americans come together in times of national crisis, supporting those affected by tragedy and reminding us there is the potential for great good to be born of great suffering.
But the practice of rallying around friends, family, neighbors and even strangers in one’s local community is a venerable tradition that crosses generational and cultural divides. It’s a practice that’s alive and well at Loft West Cobb.
Native Aussie and Loft associate Sue Durand moved to Georgia two years ago to help her husband care for his mother. Then, last November, she found a lump in her breast.
“I thought I was going to get a lumpectomy and radiation and be done,” she said. “But they found I had cancer in three of my lymph nodes, so that put me into chemo.”
Although Durand was half a world away from her parents, children and lifelong friends, her colleagues at Loft provided constant love and support throughout her fight with breast cancer.
“If I didn’t have this job and the support of these girls, I would have been a mess,” she said. “We’re one big family.”
Inspired by Durand’s positive attitude during her unexpected medical ordeal, the team at Loft, including store managers Amy Cromer and Jennifer Dohm, associates Frances Hatfield and Jordan Schaefer and Durand herself, walked in the Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure in honor of their friend and colleague.
“We walked two days after my last chemo treatment,” Durand said. “I was going to do it no matter how I felt.”
“She didn’t tell us until we were done walking,” Cromer said. “Loft does that walk, so we did it as a company, but from our store we did it for Sue. We asked her how everything was going with her treatment, and she told us her last one was two days before. That was overwhelming and humbling for me.”
Now, as Durand waits for the all-clear from doctors, she and her Loft friends are planning their own breast cancer awareness event Oct. 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Loft Avenue West Cobb.
“It’s a celebration of women like Sue,” Cromer said. “It’s a night to pamper them, shower them with love and give them a personal shopping experience that includes makeup, catering, giveaways and a discount while the store is closed.”
Just as the Loft West Cobb team rallied around Durand, they are now helping support other breast cancer survivors in the local community. Here’s to the continuation of a longstanding tradition. If you know someone who should attend, call the store at (770) 419-0256.
*Originally published in the Marietta Daily Journal’s Breast Cancer Awareness tab and picked up by the Cobb Business Journal.