Aug 232014

2014 Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer RideIt’s our 5th Annual Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride.  

Join Barb’s H-D and Divas For A Cure as we ride to the Pic-A-Lilly Inn in Shamong, NJ for Breast Cancer Research.

  • Date:  Saturday, October 11, 2014
  • Registration at Barb’s H-D   from 10:00am to 12:00pm
  • Registration Fee is $25.  Free patch to the first 200 riders.
  • Ride leaves at 12:30pm and ends at the Pic-A-Lilly Inn, Shamong, NJ for a buffet lunch (included with registration fee.)

2014 Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride

Divas For a Cure is dedicated to promoting early detection, education, screenings and supporting research organizations to continue the quest to, one day, find a cure ad eradicate cancers of all kinds.

If you can’t participate in the ride, please consider making a small donation to help us continue to support our cause!

Finding Out I Had Breast Cancer “Another Survivor’s Story”

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Dec 302007

Miranda Sumblin aka “Tricck” 

My story is similar to most who find out that they have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It has taken me this long to sit and actually put into words what I have felt since being diagnosed.

After retiring from the military with twenty-six years of service, I was well on my way to a second career as a contractor and anticipating my son’s upcoming graduation from high school.

I was diagnosed on Dec 8, 2006 with CA Female Breast, Infiltrating Ductal Stage 2 (stage II breast cancer). Prior to getting the official diagnosis, I visited my primary care doctor with concerns about the change in my breast. The right breast was hard. Although I didn’t feel a lump, I knew something wasn’t right. In addition, I felt occasional shooting pains. My primary physician examined me and told me to schedule my yearly mammogram, in that it was soon due. I did so and was told that I needed to have a second mammo for a closer look. The second showed small calcifications not seen on the mammo the previous year. I was then told that I needed to have a biopsy. If I wasn’t worried before, I certainly was now. Calcifications and biopsy, these words just didn’t seem too positive.

I did the biopsy and waited anxiously for several days for the results. I received a phone call at work and was told that I had stage II breast cancer. Life changed for me that day. My entire life flashed before me. I had always wanted to have a military funeral and be buried in my military dress uniform. It didn’t matter if they cut the back out, not one would see it anyway. I thought, on my God, I wouldn’t see my son graduate. He was now a senior in high school and would graduate in May. Maybe I can hold on until May. Who’s going to help him get his college applications completed? What will my husband do, my mother will be sooo lonely without me.

Once I regained composure, I began to think clearly. The medical field has come a long way since women years ago were diagnosed with cancer. Get a grip, make an appointment and find out where do you go from here. I remember growing up in the south were the work cancer was not even said aloud. Either it was whispered or simply referred to as the “Big C”.

I immediately called my husband and we agreed that I should have the entire breast removed for fear of the cancer spreading into the other breast. After calling him, I called my mother and my closest friends. Often people don’t know what to say when you tell them you have cancer. Some say, “I’m sorry”, or look at you not knowing what to say; some just give you a hug. Many attempt to reassure you that everything will be all right.

Well now that I had my diagnosis, it was time for a plan action involving of course my surgeon and the plastic surgeon. The real roller coaster ride began. I was given the options and also told that if cancer was found, I would not be able to have an implant immediately. I often remember the words my surgeon told me “I know it’s hard, but it’s about you now” and that’s how I began to see life.

My surgery was scheduled for Jan. 2, 2007. I was overwhelmed with the information. There were so many medical terms, literature to read, preparations to be made. Everything was moving so fast.

I had twenty-seven lymph nodes removed, some were found to be cancerous, this meant no implant at this time. I began chemotherapy on Feb. 15, 2007. Chemo is similar to giving birth, no one can really describe how it feels, you have to actually experience it and it effects everyone differently. The hair loss and the nausea were the worst. For me each day that went by meant that it would soon be over.

After taking chemo once per month for four months, I than began a cycle of once per week for three weeks with one week off. After the chemo ends in August, I will be taking radiation for thirty days and again chemo until May 08. My bad days are good and my good days are better. I thank God each day. I am grateful for the support of my friends and family for they have truly been wonderful throughout my ordeal.

I began to ride my 2005 Harley Sporster in May, due to my surgery and I am the secretary of our newly formed motorcycle club “Nice & Nasty” which keeps me pretty busy. Each day is a blessing. I never said, “why me” because God does not make mistakes. I am well on my way to recovery and living life to its fullest. I am happy to share my story with others who also have been stricken with this terrible disease. My prayers go out to all of you.


Miranda, mother of Garrik and wife of Gary passed on September 17, 2009.

Janet Downes “Just Jan”

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Sep 012005
Janet Downes "Just Jan"

Janet Downes "Just Jan"

My name is Janet Downes and I’m a 7 year breast cancer fighter. I don’t call myself a survivor anymore as I’ve been truly battling this disease. We’ve gone many rounds in this fight but I refuse to give up or let it beat me. It may win eventually but I’m going to go down swinging hard and leave my own bruises on it.

I am retired from the US Air Force and currently working on a book about my battle with cancer. I had 2 aunts, maternal & paternal die of this awful disease. Along with a third aunt that survived. Cancer was a word that I was familiar with but you never quite understand until it taps YOU on the shoulder.

In 1998 I was about to celebrate my 40th birthday. I had a wedding theme planned for my party and everyone thought I was nuts. Maybe I am a little but I got tired of seeing everything in the stores that was related to ‘40’ being in black. So I decided to poke a little fun at society because I didn’t feel old. That coupled with the fact that after 19 years of adulthood, I was finally at a place in my life where I was happy with almost every aspect of my life. I’d been married & divorce twice at that time, yet I no longer needed a man to ‘fulfill’ me. I had 3 beautiful children (Nicole, Jasmine & Eugene Jr.) and for the first time, was satisfied with my body. You know what I mean ladies? We always seem to feel that our breasts are too small or too big. Always complaining that something is wrong with our hips, butt or legs. We can always find something wrong with ourselves when we look in the mirror. One day I woke up & decided, I was happy with who I was, just the way I was. So that led me to, marrying myself. I didn’t know it at the time but that little stunt got me international fame. It seems that I was the first woman to think of it and actually carry it out. It was a beautiful wedding and I am happy with myself, even now.

Two months later, I had cancer. I had a modified bilateral mastectomy and went through 6 months of chemotherapy. The way I describe 1998 is like this; I found myself, married myself, lost both my breast & all of my hair. Whew! What a yea!

I was on the mend and after looking at myself in the mirror and saying, put your money where your mouth is Jan. I knew that I didn’t have to have breast to be me. I was still Just Jan. I still loved me and I knew I would be okay. After coming to grips about being breast-less, I decided to get implants. When a doctor told me I could get any size I wanted, I figured, why not? That was my present to myself for enduring what I had just gone through.

Janet Downes - Diva Rider

I began living life to its fullest when in 2000; I felt a lump under my implant. It had returned. Looking back, the news didn’t devastate me as much as the first time, I did it once and could do it again. After taking that lump out, I had 2 months of chemo (all that I could stand because the side effects kicked my butt) and then 7 weeks of radiation. I lost my hair again but even that wasn’t as devastating as the first time because I knew it was coming back when all was done. I began to mend again. Smelling the roses if you will. Everything was beautiful. I was alive & that’s all that mattered to me.

2002, the cancer returned again, in my collar bone. In 2003 it returned again, twice. In 2004 and so on. That’s the short version. Here I am in 2005 and still fighting. I’ve had 16 surgeries in the past 7 years and am about to start on my 7th regiment of chemotherapy. As I said, I’m not technically a survivor but a fighter.

I don’t just fight the cancer; I try to help others through one of the most difficult times in their lives. I joined a group called; The Witness Project because they are a faith based group that goes into churches, schools, anywhere in the community that wants us and give our testimony to other woman. In hopes of teaching more woman about Breast Self exams and standing up for yourself when faced with a diagnosis of cancer. I personally talk to anyone and everyone that I meet. It’s all about being empowered. Cancer can, if you let it, strip away your life. I choose not to let it. As Tim McGraw’s song says, ‘live like you were dying.’ That sums up my life now.

Last year I applied to be a part of the group, Changing Gears but I missed the deadline and was heart broken. But I thank God that I was still around this year to apply and was accepted. Women from all over the world applied for the chance to ride. I’ve always had a special love for Bikes and used to ride years ago. But somehow, I got busy with life & kids and working and didn’t make time for it. When I saw the opportunity to get on a bike again, I jumped at it. Since being accepted I took the Riders Edge course and got my endorsement on my license. While I don’t have a bike of my own, I’ve rented a few bikes to prepare for the ride. There is no better feeling than being on the road on a Harley (or whatever you like) it’s just you and a powerful machine and the road. The thought of riding with 20 other breast cancer survivors, raising money to help other women smitten with this disease and meeting new people along the way has left me giddy with hope.

Janet Downes & Family

I tell people all the time that I’m lucky and blessed. When they hear my story they don’t understand how I can say that. The truth is, cancer can teach you if you let it. It’s taught me so many things in the past 7 years that I’m amazed every day. Cancer knows no color or age boundaries and because of that I’ve had to live that same way. I’ve found new friends and lost others that I thought were friends because of the cancer. I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff because there is so much more to life. I’ve also learned to have less and less pity parties for one because when you think you have it bad, there is someone that’s always worst.

I keep holding on, waiting for the Cure. I will ride as long as the good Lord lets me and I will enjoy my life as long as He lets me. I wouldn’t have made it this far without God, my family & friends. Especially my brother Ronn who has been like a sister to me. I have two beautiful grandchildren now, Giavonna 3 and Westyn 7 months. No one can tell me, that I am not blessed.


Janet Downes
Departed this life Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:44am.