The American Cancer Society estimates that 268,600 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. That’s 268,600 women and 268,600 families whose lives will be changed forever. It’s a story Amy Walsh knows all too well.
Walsh, the founder of Fore Her, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support to breast cancer patients along the Emerald Coast, watched both her mother and aunt struggle through their battles with the disease.
“In watching their fight, I learned that everyone needs support,” said Walsh. “Whether the support is emotional or financial, the need is there, and with support, the journey is not as heavy.” After their deaths, Walsh’s golf-loving family wanted to join together to honor the family they had lost, sparking the creation of the Jeanette Hansen/Barb Schultz Golf Outing in Saginaw, Michigan. The family used their day of golfing to raise funds for breast cancer patients in Michigan.
When Walsh moved to the Emerald Coast, she wanted to continue her family’s tradition. “I moved here and realized that there are no resources in the Panhandle that are specific to helping breast cancer patients financially,” said Walsh. “I decided to start Fore Her to help make a difference in the lives of these patients and their families, letting them know they are not alone in the battle against breast cancer.”
What initially began as a single charity golf tournament has grown into a multi-event, quickly growing a nonprofit organization that assists breast cancer patients in the area pay for utilities, mortgages or rent, auto repairs to get to and from appointments and more.
“My hope for the future of the organization is to become a better resource for breast cancer patients and their families,” said Walsh. “Not only do we want to help these ladies financially, we want to be able to be a place they can come with questions about each step of their battle. We would like to bring survivors together with newly-diagnosed patients to help with support and guidance.”
Walsh and the Fore Her board most recently started a peer support group to facilitate this, and they’re currently in the process of planning their first event of 2019, Tea Fore Her, to generate the funds they intend to give to the area’s breast cancer patients.
“It’s about helping others,” said Walsh. “It’s what my family has always done since I can remember and what we will continue to do, to help make a difference in the lives of others.
For more information about Walsh, Fore Her and how you can get involved, visit www.foreher.org.