Anne Taku - 2015 Fabulous Four Essay Contest Winner
One of our own, Anne Taku, is among one of the four winners of the 2015 Fabulous Four essay contest, which is a part of Bowl for the Cure®, a year-round fundraising and breast cancer awareness initiative. Bowl for the Cure® is sponsored by USBC in partnership with Susan G. Komen®, the world's largest grass roots organization of breast cancer survivors and activists.
The Fabulous Four Travelled to Dallas, TX
Trip of a Lifetime
What a ‘trip of a lifetime’ experience it was, to be part of the Fabulous Four! It is truly an honor and privilege to represent USBC, Susan G. Komen, and Boardwalk Bowl. Their partnership is awesome in creating and promoting Breast Cancer awareness.
The Fabulous Four travelled to Dallas, TX to gather and begin our experience. We were warmly greeted by USBC and Susan G. Komen staff. The Four of us instantly connected and became each other’s sisters and family in this journey together for the next 5 days!
We toured Susan G. Komen headquarters, and met many of the staff that works behind the scenes. A very warm and welcoming reception followed where each of us shared our stories. After that, we were treated to a VIP shopping spree at Belk Department Store!
The next day we traveled to Arlington, TX to visit the International Training and Research Center, ITRC, the Bowling Museum, and Hall of Fame. A must see on every bowlers bucket list! We were welcomed by Team USA Head Coach, Rod Ross, and Team USA women, Shannon Pluhowsky, and Stefanie Johnson. Coach Rod fitted each of us with a new, pink, bowling ball, and onto the practice lanes we went. The ITRC staff and team were a highlight for all of us! They shared their tips and amazing equipment for Team USA’s training and fitness programs.
We traveled to Reno, NV to participate in the Women’s National Championship Tournament. We had the amazing opportunity to meet and dine with Kelly Kulick! Kelly is the USBC, PWBA Spokeswoman, an outstanding professional bowler, and such a lovely lady! Following a tour of the National Bowling Stadium and a VIP reception, The Fabulous Four were then presented in the Opening Ceremonies with a video of us and the week’s prior events. We were individually introduced onto the lanes, and honored to throw the first inaugural (pink) ball to open the tournament! That was truly amazing! We bowled with the Team event Friday night. Singles, and Doubles, on Saturday. And, we celebrated each other! We plan to re-unite in Las Vegas for 2016 Women’s Tournament.
To think that I received this awesome opportunity to be a part of the Fabulous Four by writing my story, well, it’s truly unbelievable. I’m still pinching myself! We all have a story, Cancer Survivor, or not. I believe that ALL of our stories together are the fiber, which makes the thread, which weaves the blanket of our humanity. We are all connected. Thanks for letting me share it with you!
About Anne Taku
We Are All Connected!
I am a 3 time Breast Cancer Survivor. My journey began in 1999.
What is most important to me, other than my survival, is how I have been involved with and committed to the fight against Breast Cancer. I have discovered that Everything We Do Together is connected, and will come full circle in the lives we may touch, seen or unseen. That is the magic! These are some of my experiences.
The year 2009 was marked with my second diagnosis and treatment of B.C. It was late spring, when I was in recovery, that I notice something extraordinary! Our mature Japanese maple tree blessed our yard with 200 saplings. I gathered all of this new life and transplanted them in flats. They quickly became my “Hope and Joy” trees in my journey of healing.
Over the three years of nurturing them, my friends and family asked me, “What are you going to do with them?” I really didn't know. Then, after attending a benefit, a whisper in my ear told me that I could donate them to a major Cancer fundraiser in our community! The sale raised over $1600.00! The trees had new homes, bringing Hope, Joy, and Memory to those fighting cancer or those who have lost a loved one. Those trees were a gift given to me…to give to others.
I attend a weekly cancer support group of beautiful sisters in all stages of cancer. I shared my Maple tree story and a sister reached over and grabbed my arm saying…’I have been given one of your trees!’ The fact that I lovingly raised it during my journey, and now knowing she had been given one for her journey years later, well, we were all overwhelmed with tears of joy! We are all connected.
I volunteer to drive cancer patients to and from their appointments. These patients don’t know me, or, I them. But, magically, when they sit in the front seat of my car, it’s like I sprinkled pixy dust over them! They open up and pour their hearts out regarding their journey! I am blessed to listen, support, and see them smile, and to be connected once again.
My involvement also includes:
- Being a Navigator to a Sojourner in a major clinical cancer study establishing lifelong friendships, and sharing our strengths, emotions, and love, during our journeys together. I was honored to support a very young sojourner, gifting her joy, energy, and love in her darkest hour.
- Bowling for local cancer fundraisers.
I believe that it is important to raise money to fight this disease, but it’s equally as important to share our compassionate human kindness with each other. I will continue to be involved and committed in giving my time, energy, and experience.
I am honored to be an advocate for all of us. Thank you for your consideration of my application for Bowl for the Cure!
We are all connected!