Bowl for the Cure Fabulous Four journey ends in Reno


    United States

    2014USBCWCBowlfortheCureFabulousFour.jpg The five-day journey for the Bowl for the Cure® Fabulous Four essay contest winners came to a close at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships on Saturday.

    Kathy Adams of Bountiful, Utah, Barb Demorest of Bellingham, Wash., Kristal Kelley of Smithfield, N.C., and Shannon Thompson of Spring Creek, Nev., already had visited the headquarters of Susan G. Komen® in Dallas and the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas.

    2014USBCWCLogo.jpgTheir experience as the Fabulous Four continued on the lanes at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, as the group bowled as a team during Friday's opening day of the 2014 USBC Women's Championships.

    The group arrived at the RSCC in style, pulling up in a limousine, and they received a tour of the 44-lane venue, before taking part in the VIP reception and the rest of the opening-day festivities.

    "This is the first time I've bowled," Thompson said. "It was the most uplifting experience of my life. I couldn't say more, and this venue is beautiful. It's just outstanding. I got to meet three other sisters who went through the fight as long as me, and I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful experience. It was a blessing to meet them all."

    From the moment they found out they had won the experience of a lifetime, until the final ball was thrown, each member had a hard time finding the words to describe what this opportunity meant to them. For Kelley, the news couldn't have come at a better time.

    "I had found out that morning that I had gotten laid off, and my last day would be April 30," Kelley said. "When I got back to my office and checked my email, I had a message from Amanda (Vermilyea) saying that I'd won. It turned a bad day into a great one. We're dreading going home, because we're going to miss each other so bad. Cancer survivors - there's a bond that nobody else can understand."

    The Fabulous Four experience helped to create a lasting bond and friendship between the teammates, as they were able to share in their experiences and were inspired by each other's stories.

    "What I hoped to gain was the privilege of meeting other survivors who have gone through so much, and being able to merge two significant things in my life," said Demorest, who was a member of the Classic Team winner at the 1999 Women's Championships.

    "My bowling world has just been really impactful in my life, and then my experience with breast cancer."

    Although the hardest thing for the Fabulous Four winners will be saying goodbye as they head back to their homes across the country, the memories made over the five-day journey will last forever.

    "I really didn't anticipate winning," Adams said. "My first thought was, 'this isn't real!' This whole trip has been incredible. It's like a dream that I don't want to end."

    For more details on the journey of the Fabulous Four, and to read each winner's breast cancer story, click here.

    Bowl for the Cure® is a year-round fundraising and breast cancer awareness initiative sponsored by USBC. Since its inception in 2000, people from across the country have hit the lanes to raise more than $10 million for breast cancer research and awareness.


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