Cindy’s Hope Chest supports women battling breast cancer

by ANN SHERIDAN / NewsChannel 36

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — Cindy Summers knows how to fight. Two years ago doctors diagnosed her with stage 3 breast cancer.

“The hardest part is the ‘what if,’ the not knowing,” she said.

Cindy and her husband Michael told their three daughters about the diagnosis. Then, Cindy began her fight.

“Hard, very hard,” said Cindy’s mother, Barbara Martin. “Those chemo days were very rough.”

Cindy spent months in treatment. She lost her hair through chemotherapy, had a double mastectomy and endured radiation. But through it all, one thing kept her strong.

“I want to raise my girls. That was the hardest part. Not knowing,” she said.

The uncertainty would haunt her, until she found hope — in a bag.

“This is the Hope Chest,” she said. “The dream for Cindy’s Hope Chest is to help women who are currently battling breast cancer and help them both financially and emotionally.”

“We’ve done car washes, bake sales, we’ve had a barbecue,” she said as she displayed the bags filled with goodies that she also gives to cancer patients.

So far, Cindy’s Hope Chest has raised thousands of dollars.

“It’s complete therapy for me. It’s paying back for the kindness that people have done for me. I have people all over the country trying to fundraise for me,” she said.

Cindy was recently recognized as an outstanding Army Wife by Lifetime Television. She received a $5,000 check for her charity and she and her family will also get an all expense paid trip to Hawaii from the network.

Through it all, Cindy remains committed to her effort. At her daughter’s cheerleading practice, she talked up her upcoming fundraisers.

“It’s about having positive people with you and believing you’re going to be OK,” she said.

If you’d like to contribute to Cindy’s Hope Chest, there are a few fundraisers this week.  Wednesday from 5-9 p.m., 10 percent of all sales at the Indian Trail Sonic drive-through will go to benefit Cindy’s Hope Chest. And on Sunday, Diviniti Salon in Matthews will hold a cut-a-thon and donate all proceeds from haircuts to Cindy’s Fund.