To continue our celebration of strength and beauty with our local breast cancer survivors, we interviewed, the always lovely, Charlie Phillippy! Charlie has volunteered for the Komen Ozark Affiliate for many years! In the past, she served on the executive board for three years, was the Ozark Affiliate’s representative on the BMW Drive For The Cure for five years, and then on the Pink Ribbon Luncheon Committee for three years. Now, she strives to put together several tables of ten for the Pink Ribbon Luncheon each year!
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your battle with breast cancer.
Charlie: I am a long-time resident of Rogers since 1958. After graduation from Rogers High School, I went to the University of Arkansas and met my future husband, Sid Phillippy. Shortly after graduation we married and made our home back in Rogers. I taught third grade and later joined my father and husband in our family-owned insurance agency. We are the proud parents of one daughter and three grandchildren. In Sept. of 1990 after watching a breast cancer ad on television, I did a self-exam and found a lump in my breast. I immediately saw a doctor and had a mammogram, which showed I needed a biopsy. The surgeon recommended that I have a biopsy and if the lump was positive, he would do the mastectomy at that time. When I woke up from the anesthesia, I learned that was the case. Later, I began chemotherapy treatments which resulted in losing my hair. I took these treatments for one year.
Q: What are your plans to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Charlie: One special way that I will be celebrating the breast cancer awareness month of October is to attend the annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon benefiting the Komen Ozark Affiliate. I always look forward to sharing this event with friends, family, and other survivors currently walking this walk. This is a perfect time to honor strong and beautiful women.
Q: What was your favorite part of the night spent at the LJ headquarters for the photoshoot?
Charlie: My favorite part of the evening at Lauren James was enjoying this wonderful event with my daughter and granddaughter. The gracious ladies of Lauren James made all the survivors and their loved ones feel like royalty.
Q: How did you decide what LJ piece you were going to wear for the shoot?
Charlie: The long-sleeved Lauren James pink shirt was my choice as it had a hand-painted magnolia highlighted with the words “Southern Charm” on the back. I have always lived in Arkansas and love its “Southern Charm”.
Q: Tell me a little about who you brought with you to the photo shoot and why.
Charlie: I brought my daughter, Marla Nelson, and granddaughter, Cydney Nelson to the event. Marla has been a co-survivor since my journey began in 1990. Cydney has “made my heart sing” for fourteen years. She is quite a Lauren James fan and was very excited to join Marla and me for this event.
Q: At LJ, our goal is to make women feel beautiful in our clothes. What do you recommend to women struggling to feel beautiful during their battle with breast cancer?
Charlie: I would advise being thankful to God for their survival. This provides inner beauty which provides strength and confidence in their outer beauty. Wear comfortable and attractive clothing and wigs if needed. Also, be active as possible in church and other organizations. The love of their families and friends is very important in the way they feel about themselves.
Q: Where are you now with your cancer journey?
Charlie: October 4, 2017, is very meaningful to me. I am celebrating my 27th year of breast cancer survival!
We have loved getting to know Charlie and her family throughout this month’s Breast Cancer Awareness events! We look forward to seeing her at the Pink Ribbon lunch where our founder and CEO, Lauren Stokes, will also be in attendance as a “Big Wig”!