By Emily Lim
A team of 11 Emory Healthcare nurses walked 60 miles for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event from Oct. 17-19, raising over $26,000 for the fight against breast cancer.
The group took the name “Team Becky” in honor and in memory of former Emory University Hospital (EUH) Chief Nursing Officer Becky Provine, who passed away on Nov. 12 last year after a long battle with breast cancer.
The 3-Day event, organized by the Susan G. Komen foundation, involves walking 60 miles over the course of three days. Participants take a pledge to raise at least $2,300 in funds, of which 75 percent is used to help support Susan G. Komen’s Research and Training Grant program and large public health outreach programs for people fighting breast cancer. The remaining 25 percent goes towards funding local community and affiliate support and outreach programs.
The team was co-captained by EUH Medical Nursing Director Janice Gentry, EUH 6E Unit Director of Hematology & Leukemia Patricia Crabtree and EUH Program Manager of Nursing Operations Caitlin Motley Derr.
The team came together a week after Provine passed away, Elizabeth Larkins said, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital Specialty Director of Critical Care and Emergency Services and “Team Becky” participant. Provine had spent an 18-year tenure as chief nursing officer at Emory.
According to the team’s co-captain, Crabtree, the team initiated fundraising activities such as holding bake sales, creating a raffle gift basket, posting posts on Facebook, selling pink “Team Becky” wristbands and sending emails to friends and family.
The team began training in endurance walking beginning in April 2014 using a phone app, according to Crabtree.
However, the team still faced difficulties during the event.
“It was physically very difficult,” Larkins recalled. “By the end of the first day, everyone had blisters on their feet. We had muscle cramps and our knees hurt. By the end of the second day, I was really in pain.”
Members walked from Stone Mountain Park to the Georgia World Congress Center on the first day. On the second day, according to Crabtree, the route took the team around the streets of Atlanta, including past Decatur and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Although the team was often tempted to take the event’s Sweep Van, which offered temporary rides to walkers who could not reach the pit stops, the team persevered. According to Larkins, whenever they felt like giving up, they would tell each other: “Becky wouldn’t have wanted to stop.”
Provine was admired for her role not only has a dedicated nurse at EUH for 18 years but also for her role as a leader in community involvement and for her role as a friend and mentor to many at EUH.
“She was brilliant. She knew how to use people’s strengths,” recalls Larkins. “She had a big impact on many, many lives. She certainly impacted my life.”
Crabtree remembers Provine as someone who was compassionate, humorous, selfless and passionate about her job.
To this day, Crabtree is still inspired by Provine’s passion.
“She inspires me to be more passionate about my work,” Crabtree said. “Whenever we were in pain [during the walk] we thought of her pain, and how she would come to work in pain but still put 100 percent into her job. Our pain was nothing compared to hers.”
According to Larkins, the event was a celebration of Provine’s life. “It was a wonderful opportunity to remember her as a group,” she said.
For Crabtree, the event was also memorable. “It was an experience I will never forget,” she said.
– By Emily Lim, Staff Writer