Who would have thought hearing the words “you have cancer” would change the destiny of five women and would impact a community for years to come. It was the summer of 2011 when the friends learned that Linda Ryan had recurrent cancer. Little did they know this frightening news would be the dawn of a charity named ME STRONG; a rapidly growing charity committed to serving Central Floridians battling cancer and to funding groundbreaking research in pursuit of a cure.
Before the conception of ME STRONG Barbara, Kim, Linda, Kathy, and Kimberly shared a close friendship that developed over 10 years while teaching and volunteering together at Saint Barnabas Episcopal School. Their common bond for appreciating laughter and being active was often shared off campus as they traveled together and participated in many community events. They embraced sharing good times and spreading happiness to all they encountered along their journey.
When Linda was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, the friends were determined to be a source of light during a dark time. They organized a 5k in honor of Linda who was an avid runner and had just completed her first marathon months before her diagnosis.