Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Hope Ball

Marie Ruthia Chevrin. Submitted

Marie Ruthia Chevrin. Submitted

Mark your calendars for February 26th! A limited number of seats are available for the Hope Ball benefitting the Marco Island Chapter of the American Cancer Society. This grand event is to be held at The Marco Island Historical Museum. The ball will have a special featured guest, Mr. Nicholas Sparks, the NY Times best-selling author (multiple times)! Mr. Sparks will attend the event to help raise money for kids with cancer programs, better known as the R.O.C.K. The ACS is excited and humbled to have such a well known speaker attend the event. Mr. Sparks wrote “A Walk to Remember” about his sister who passed away from cancer. It is another very inspiring read. He also wrote The Notebook, Dear John, Message in a Bottle & countless other books that have been adapted in to movies.

The Hope Ball sponsorship party was held recently and attendees had the opportunity to meet Marie Ruthia Chevrin, a R.O.C.K. College Scholarship recipient. Ruthia is one of only two known living survivors of her type of cancer. There have been only 13 registered cases. She had a 5% chance of survival and proved that for her, 5% was more than enough!

Many of the sponsors were so impressed with Ruthia, they stopped to hug her or took pictures with her and saying, “Thank you for reminding us why we do this”.

Ruthia doesn’t mind sharing her hardships and struggles with others to make way for someone else battling similar hurdles, with hopes to motivate and encourage all.

She shared her views with her bio:

“Having my doctor look me straight in the eyes and bluntly saying: Chances are, you’re going to die, really altered my outlook on life at age sixteen. I was diagnosed with an undeniably rare, life threatening cancer: Midline Carcinoma. Out of a mere thirteen cases, there had only been one survivor. With a low, 5% chance of survival, I miraculously, became Number Two! Through the grace of God, I feel as if I’ve walked through the gates of hell, only to walk right back out with a tall glass of water in one hand, and my designer sunglasses in the other.

In spite of all the madness that I’ve sustained, I have unbelievably been able to keep my composure with dry eyes, head held high, and swagger in my step with every agonizing tick-tock of the clock of life. Having to be home-schooled my junior year of high school, secluded from living a normal teenage life, I managed to graduate on time from Ida S. Baker High School, Magna Cum Laude. Currently attending Edison State College, my GPA stands at a continuously rising 3.6. I now stand fearless at whatever the world decides to drop onto my plate, because, I’m certain I’ll have my knife and fork ready.

Having experienced such trials and tribulations has truly made me appreciate life, including all the pitfalls and downsides that come along with it. Upon this second chance, I intend to bring my aspirations to reality. With commitment and determination strapped to my back, the next step up my ladder of accomplishments is fulfilling my dream of getting my Bachelors in fashion merchandising at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa, then eventually tackling a Masters. I don’t just wear my creativity on my sleeve, but I wear it with a matching pair of fierce stilettos and cascade of pearls, craving for the environment to mold me into a skilled business woman. People tell me the odds are against me. That hasn’t stopped me before. Failing is never an option, so after my success, I’d like to give back to my community wholeheartedly. Showing those who think it is impossible, that they can do it too.

The American Cancer Society has helped me through the R.O.C.K. scholarship program, showing me that I cannot settle for less, but must catapult my career out of the nest, and into the endless sky. Ultimately helping me attain my career goals putting me hand and hand with my future career of being a fashion stylist or run-way coordinator.

The ACS has also enlightened me making me realize how triumphant I truly am, by revealing the behind the scenes aspect of such a life-changing and monumental organization. I met many great sponsors like those behind 21st Century Oncology, where I personally received my radiation therapy, and Chico’s Headquarters, which I’m absolutely fond of with hopes of completing an internship with their fashion department. Through that, it became clear to me that while the ACS is the body, the many sponsors are the spine and backbone, successfully supporting and helping to execute ACS’s vision in a big way.

Though the nightmare of costly tuition and student loans eat away at my 4 inch heels, I love to sprint into the arms of sponsors that want to impact lives like mine with scholarship opportunities, helping me to execute my vision. I thank you for all what you’ve done, and all that you will continue to do!”

Ruthia has been accepted into the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa for fashion merchandising. Most recently, she has attended Edison State College and will be moving to Tampa shortly.

Tickets are almost gone, so if you want to attend, please RSVP to The Greater Marco Island American Cancer Society, 239-642-8800 ext. 3890 today.

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