When bikers take to the roads for the 2011 Arkansas Ride for the Cure, they will ride in honor of Betsy Barrett of Jonesboro, a 10-year survivor of breast cancer.
The Jonesboro native will be recognized at a ceremony at 9 a.m. on April 16 near the blue entrance to the ASU Convocation Center prior to the start of the recreational ride. Her son, Joe, will be among those taking part in the event held in conjunction with the HMG Health & Fitness Expo.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 when Dr. Donald Berry found a lump. Dr. Michael Berry performed a lumpectomy, and that was followed by radiation treatment, with Drs. Marc Monte` and John Lynch of St. Bernards directing her treatment. She has been cancer free for 10 years.
The next year Barrett wanted to prove something to herself. She wanted to run in the Race for the Cure in Little Rock. So she recruited Joe to help her get ready. “We went to Craighead Forest Park early every morning, and he helped me train.”
Then run she did … with Joe there to cheer her on. “I just needed to prove to myself that I could do it.”
That was her first year as a Pink Warrior – a member of the St. Bernards team that participates in the Little Rock race. She has been a Pink Warrior ever since and now works as a volunteer when it’s time to distribute race packets to the hundreds of area women who come together as Pink Warrior walkers and runners. She was one of the first breast cancer survivors inducted into the “Survivor Wall of Fame” at the St. Bernards Imaging Center.
Barrett enjoys growing roses, cooking, reading and serving in volunteer roles in the community, including helping at the Jonesboro Church Health Center and at Cornerstone United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Rush, have two sons, Joe, who is a Jonesboro attorney, and Rusty, who is a linguistics professor at the University of Kentucky, and a granddaughter, Sophie Weeks of Jonesboro.
The Ride for the Cure is sponsored by St. Bernards, Healthcare Medical Group (HMG) and Gearhead Outfitters.