Sharon Brummert, 50, may be 4 feet 10 inches tall and weigh 94 pounds, but sliding through mud, crawling under barbed wire, climbing over walls and jumping over fire does not scare her.
“Anything you can do to save the kids and help the kids, that’s awesome,” Brummert, administrative coordinator for the Avon Recreation and Parks Department, said.
Headquartered in Memphis, TN, St. Jude is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year after decades of treating children with cancer and looking for cures.
“I can’t imagine being parents of a child when you get that diagnosis and they’re so little and helpless,” Brummert said.
She said she could barely imagine it when she found out she had breast cancer at 41 years old in 2003. There was no history of breast cancer in her family. Her doctor told her over the phone while she was driving to New Hampshire. It really sunk in when she got to her hotel.
“I just remember standing in the shower crying and crying, thinking, ‘why me? I’ve always been a nice person,’” Brummert said.
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But she had a network of support, from her family and friends to her doctors at Hartford Hospital. She had a lumpectomy procedure within a week of being diagnosed with stage zero ductal carsenoma in situ, a type of breast cancer. Then she did radiation for six weeks. As of June 4, she has been cancer free for nine years.
When she watched her son, Michael Brummert, 32, compete in the Warrior Dash last year, she saw how much fun people were having and wanted to support the cause. There was little hesitation in deciding to compete with him this year.
“I remember all the support and help that I got,” Brummert said. “It was incredible. People came out of the woodwork.”
Michael has promised to stay with her the entire race. Canton resident Rachel Levy, a former Avon Police Explorer, will compete, as well.
Her goal is to raise at least $250 and she’s at $100 so far.
It’s all too fitting that Brummert is doing the Warrior Dash because she’s a fighter no matter how many obstacles are thrown in her way.
“I’m finishing it, no matter what,” she said.
While she is nervous about a portion where competitors need to walk across a rope over water because she said she is not a strong swimmer, there is one part of the race that she said that might give her an advantage due to her size – crawling under barbed wire.
“My size is going to help me out in some aspects,” Brummert said.
She went on her first real distance run with Michael on her 50th birthday this year at in Granby. She continues to train.
Brummert has one more important thing to do before the race – design her costume. Last year, she recalls seeing men in tutus or kilts.
This year, she hopes to dress as a warrior – war paint, braids, headband and all.
Michael promised to stay with her the whole race. Brummert’s son, David, 26, and her boyfriend, Chuck Cubberly, 50, will be there to cheer them on.
Brummert’s support network is still vibrant and now she will be part of one for the children of St. Jude.
For information on how to donate to Brummert’s fundraising efforts, you can visit www.mystjudeevent.org/weewarrior.