Lori Thimm has played in the Beatrice Country Club's Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament for several years, but this year it had new meaning for her.
During past tournaments, her thoughts and prayers could always be focused on friends and family who had battled cancer -- some successfully, some not.
But during this past year, it was Thimm who got the news that everybody dreads to hear. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2016.
Thimm had put off her annual mammogram for awhile and when she finally got around to it, the doctor scheduled her for another one shortly after.
"That didn't surprise me because that had happened before," Thimm said. "But then they wanted to do an ultrasound and then a biopsy. I still wasn't really scared, but when she called and asked me to come to her office, I knew it was cancer. I was totally shocked because I had always been pretty healthy."
Thimm was among 148 women golfing in the 2017 Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament on Thursday at the Beatrice Country Club, which had a pirate theme of "fighting for our treasured chest."
Fortunately, Thimm wasn't playing as someone who was currently battling breast cancer. She's a survivor. She had a lumpectomy in January and then started radiation in February, which lasted about seven weeks. She now has to take a preventive medication for the next 10 years.
"For me, it was a very garden variety cancer," Thimm said. "I feel great and things are going well, so my story is pretty boring compared to what others go through. I was very fortunate to get through things fast and I think my husband had a tougher time dealing with it than I did. Once we found out the type of cancer it was, he was much better. But he had a hard time for awhile."
Last year, Thimm won the "mixer" award at the golf tournament, which has been a running joke with her teammates this year.
"I won that and then I got breast cancer," Thimm said laughing. "So I'm not sure that was a good omen. But that's just a joke. I know it had nothing to do with it."
Thimm said the Rally for the Cure Tournament is something she has looked forward to every year.
"They put so much work into this tournament," Thimm said. "Every detail is so much fun. You see so many people that normally don't play a lot of golf and the fact that they can raise so much money for cancer research is just so great.
Thimm said the fundraising aspect of the tournament also has new meaning for her.
"Research that has been done because of fundraisers like this really helps," Thimm said. "I'm lucky that mine was very manageable, which I know isn't always the case. But we have to keep the research going."
Glennis McClure of Wymore was another cancer survivor playing in Thursday's tournament. Her battle was 18 years ago and it lasted about nine months.
"It all worked out well and I still feel so fortunate to be here," McClure said. "I'm just very thankful that, even that long ago, the technology was so wonderful. I've been able to continue my career and and doing well. There's always that lingering fear that it may come back, but I'm thankful that it hasn't so far."
McClure, like Thimm, said this year's tournament means more to her team as well.
"We have a friend with cancer who isn't doing very well," McClure said. "It's kind of an emotional day, actually, because we are playing for somebody special and that's what makes this tournament so wonderful. We are playing for all those that are survivors, but also those who have passed."
It's the 10th annual Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament and the funds raised go directly to cancer research. Women from Beatrice and the surrounding areas were decked out in pink clothes and some even decorated their golf carts.
Nancy Baker, one of the organizers of the event said it's exciting that the tournament has lasted 10 years. They once again reached their player capacity of 148 women.
"We've added a few new games to our tournament and added the 'fighting for your treasured chest' pirate theme,'" Baker said. "We are lucky to have a great community that sponsors holes and donate gifts. On average, we usually raise between $5,000 and $9,000 and it has just been a great time."
The proceeds go towards the Susan G. Komen fund, which keeps the money locally.
"Our contribution will go locally and directly towards research," Baker said. "It will help people who can't afford breast exams and provide literature to educate. We just want to help get rid of breast cancer."
Baker said when they first started the tournament 10 years ago, they had about 72 players. Now they are consistently filling their capacity every year.
"Everybody has been affected one way or another by cancer," Baker said. "We all like to have fun and it's for a great cause. It's just a time for women to be silly and support each other and it's something everybody looks forward to every year."