Linda Newsome of Midway can recall some tough times in her life and the lives of others.
However, those tough times and the people she has met since have influenced her path in life and she is bound and determined to help out any way she can. One of those ways comes in three weeks as she has helped produce the inaugural “Shoot to Kill Cancer” sporting-clays fun shoot at 8 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Dorchester Shooting Preserve in Midway.
Newsome’s experiences with cancer started about five years ago, with two diagnoses about a year apart.
“I was diagnosed in February 2009 with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma,” said Newsome, the senior buyer at International Greetings in Midway. “My niece, Audrey Newsome, was diagnosed in February 2008 with Hodgkins Lymphoma.”
Newsome serves as the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society’s Honored Hero for the 2013 Light the Night Walk, set for Oct. 18 in Savannah. The annual walk, similar to Relay for Life, raises funds, promotes awareness, celebrates survivors and remembers those lost to the disease. She heads up a local LLS fundraising team called Team Lifesaver. It was through Team Lifesaver that she met Jan Pound, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2006. Pound is the sister-in-law of Team Lifesaver captain Patti Todd, and Newsome said they became close friends.
Newsome celebrated her fourth year of remission in July, and her niece has been cancer-free for five years and four months. Pound has been cancer-free since 2007. Also, Newsome said that despite the illnesses and set-backs, her niece gave birth April 24, and Pound also had a baby April 30.
Recently, Team Lifesaver partnered with two LLS teams from Richmond Hill to host the shoot. Newsome said the idea came about after meeting with an Atlanta LLS team called “Stick it to Cancer.” She said Team Lifesaver and the Richmond Hill teams of Team Evan and Team Dylan met with the Atlanta group in January to brainstorm, which is when she learned about the annual indoor shoot.
“I thought that was much better than the old bake sale and car wash that everybody does … I started doing some research … and I saw the one for ADA … I sent Dorchester an email, and they called me back and the timing was perfect,” Newsome said, referring to the annual fun clay shoot Dorchester hosted to benefit the American Diabetes Association.
Last year was the first time in nine years the ADA event was not held. Newsome said Chuck Gaskin and Jamie Massey of the Dorchester Shooting Preserve explained how the event works.
“And they were extremely helpful … I didn’t know anything about a clay shoot, but I do now,” she said. “Our presenting sponsors is Galbreath & Sons Heating & Air out of Richmond Hill, and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Newsome said. “I called them up and gave them the information, and I’ve known them for many years … they are dear people, and they told me they were behind us 100 percent.”
Newsome said they have 13 four-person teams already registered with room for up to six more teams. Fees are $500 for a four-person team or $125 per individual shooter, and registration is open until Aug. 30.
The event also will feature a silent auction and prize. Lunch will be provided.
Newsome said her determination to raise awareness and money come from much more than being a survivor.
“Last year, I met two young boys that absolutely changed my life and the way I thought about surviving,” she said. “Team Dylan is in honor of Dylan Moore, a Richmond Hill 11-year-old that has now gone into remission after two years treatment. I just look at him and think our children are going through what I went through, and I know how grueling and horrible it was. For a child to have to go through, that breaks my heart.”
She said Team Evan is in memory of Evan Nelms, 5, who recently lost his battle with leukemia.
“You know parents aren’t supposed to bury their children,” she said. “Being a survivor and having to go through it … I don’t want any other person to ever have to go through it. I don’t want my children to go through it, or my grandchildren to go through it or any body’s child to go through it … I will forever fundraise to promote awareness, fund research and assist patients that need financial assistance … that is what this fundraiser is all about.”
For more information about the clay shoot, call 912-398-4358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.