Why We Walk: Mom-of-two carries on her mother’s legacy by walking, raising money for research
'More Than Pink' walk is June 8
MADISON, Wis. — It’s said that life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.
In her 61 years, Chuckie Trimberger certainly taught her daughter, Amy Schellpfeffer, a lot.
“She was just the strongest person,” Schellpfeffer said. “She would love this. And she’d love talking to you and telling you her whole story. Every bus boy, every person at the grocery store would know about her whole life.”
Trimberger’s life got more complicated when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-1990s.
“The first time she met one of my friends, she immediately took her wig off and showed them her bald head,” Schellpfeffer remembers. “I was like, ‘Ugh, mom! They wouldn’t have even known.”
That happened during Trimberger’s second battle with cancer in 2004. The disease came back seven years after she first beat it. This time, it was metastatic.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 30-percent of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will develop metastatic disease.
“My mom was always of the philosophy that if she could just do the next treatment and wait, and continue to fight, something else would come along,” Schellpfeffer said.
After her mom’s second diagnosis, determined to do something, Schellpfeffer decided to walk in the annual Susan G. Komen event, then called the Race for the Cure. That first year, she was pregnant with her oldest daughter.
“I feel very strongly to help prevent this from happening to them,” Schellpfeffer said.
Her team, “Chuckie’s Chicks,” helped raise hundreds for her mom and others.
“I think strides in one type of cancer will impact everyone,” she explained.
After five years of fighting and waiting, Trimberger lost her second battle with breast cancer in 2009.
Now, 10 years later, Trimberger’s strength, positivity, and relentless determination live on in Schellpfeffer.
“While she wasn’t able to be active in any of the actual fundraising or activation, she did her part by giving me the power,” Schellpfeffer said.
That power is in her granddaughters, too.
“I’m super proud of them,” she said. “They’re just like my mom. And fighters all the way.”
This year, Chuckie’s Chicks have another reason to raise money for Komen’s More Than Pink walk. Amy’s mother-in-law, and one of Trimberger’s best friends, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Schellpfeffer said the outcome is looking very positive.
This year’s More Than Pink Walk is June 8.
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