One local family has turned the pain of loss into a reason to strive hard to help others.
The Mudd family team, which began fundraising for Relay for Life this year, has collected over $4,000 for the American Cancer Society in order to fight back against a disease that has “already taken too much.”
Team leader Heather Platter explained that “everybody on the team has their own reason why they Relay.” Four of the 16 team members have fought personal battles against cancer, while Platter said “all of our team members have had parents, [parent figures,] grandparents or children with cancer.”
The loss that each of the team members has endured has driven them to stand and support each other as well as others who are suffering at the hands of this disease by participating in Relay for Life.
Platter was led to participate after the devastating loss of her mother, Judy Mudd, in 2011.
“I was in the Navy, working out of state at the shipyard and away from home for most of her battle,” Platter said.”I went to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my husband on his ship, and when we left the ship that evening, I had about a dozen missed calls from my mom and sister. My mom said it was time for me to come home. I was on the next flight out. A week and a day after I got home, she passed.”
Platter said that Mudd, even while suffering, “put off going to the doctor to plan my wedding, and according to journals we found since she passed, she doesn’t remember it.”
Mudd battled for her life, taking cancer treatments for years in hopes of one day seeing her daughter become a mother herself. Sadly, she did not make it.
“Three months to the day of her passing, I got my first positive pregnancy test,” Platter said. “I feel like I let my mom down and I should have been there for her. This is my way of giving back.”
Platter’s mother was a Relay participant during her illness, and this year, her daughter carried the torch and began this team “not only for my mom but for the many family members we have lost over the years.”
In addition to keeping alive the memories of loved ones who have fought hard against this disease, she said that she hopes their efforts can also honor those that are still fighting, including her sister.
The group – many of whom are relatives – set an initial fundraising goal of $1,000 for their first year participating.
The group sold t-shirts, hosted fundraising yard sales, raised donations and not only surpassed their goal quickly, but more than quadrupled it.
Proud members of Team Mudd include: