Block Bands Together To Show Support in Cancer Fight
Papillion, NE--Drive down Joseph Street in Papillion and you will see them waving proudly from every house: pink flags with the breast cancer ribbon on them.
"There's a sisterhood there with getting breast cancer and there was nobody in our neighborhood that had it and all of a sudden everybody was hanging up these flags and no one really knew who had cancer yet," described Colleen Martincik.
Only a couple of people knew at that point that Colleen had just been diagnosed.
"I was due for my yearly mammogram and I was in the shower and I found the lump," Colleen explained. "I was going to the gym every day. I was doing everything right and all of a sudden, I get diagnosed."
That's when Colleen's neighbors banded together to be there for her and her family. As sign-ups started to deliver food to Colleen's house, they also found the breast cancer flags and wanted to show her they were in her corner.
"We hung them up for her support," remembered Dorrie Blodgett.
They put them up in the middle of the night, so the morning Colleen left for her mastectomy, the flags were in place.
"So then I look up and I see my flag and then all of a sudden, I look down and I look that way and I look behind me and there was just a sea of pink," Colleen still recounts that moment with a sense of awe.
Dorrie chimed in, "to see her eyes glow when she saw them that was huge; that was very big to us."
Colleen laughed as she told us, "they've been out since January 12th 2011 and no one has taken it down except to put a Nebraska Husker flag up, but then it goes right back up."
Between the flags the food, transportation and childcare help, Colleen can't express her gratitude enough for the neighbors and how they rallied around her. "They carried me in even more ways than even they know."
She's convinced those flags and their unconditional love helped her heal faster and she's determined to be a good neighbor and return the favor when the opportunity arises.
As for those flags, they're still up and will be until Colleen gets through her final surgery which will likely be next year.