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Background on acquiring the '97 C5

Late in 1997, at age 51, Sandy was undergoing rigorous chemotherapy for a recurrence of breast cancer that had spread to her lymph system. During the infusions, she would think happy thoughts.  These thoughts always included traveling with her husband, Ben, in her beloved 1963 Corvette convertible. The months of treatments dragged on. During each session her mind would wander farther, to distant Corvette shows, where she would speak about cancer - about detection and prevention and research - and she would raise money for the American Cancer Society. 

The images became more vivid, and, without realizing it, she wasn't daydreaming any longer, she was planning!

She told Ben, "I know this recurrence is NOT a good thing. As soon as I'm done with this course of treatment, and while I'm still able, I want to sell the '63, get a C5 [the newest model], and go on a tour of the country, hitting all the major Corvette shows, speaking whenever I have the opportunity, distributing cancer information and raising money for the American Cancer Society. Whatever it takes, I'm going to find a way!"

Sandy became focused on making the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour a reality! Looking back on it later, she would laugh and say that the idea was "drug induced"!

Corvettes Conquer Cancer
was born!

Having made the leap from daydream to actual planning stage, Sandy's first call was to her old friend,
National Corvette Museum founder, the late  Dan Gale

  Dan immediately went into high gear, lining up the contacts in the Corvette field whom he thought could help. Throughout the rest of the winter and through the spring of 1998 Sandy developed a schedule of events to go to, and lined up a major sponsor (the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Corvette Dealer") who was to provide the use a new C5 Corvette for the Tour and cover expenses. 

All this time,  Sandy was completing the debilitating chemotherapy, and undergoing screening for a bone marrow transplant at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Long before the days of Google, she became adept at searching the internet for information about her disease and the effectiveness of a variety of treatment options, including the bone marrow transplant. She didn't like what she found. The transplant would require that she be in total isolation for 1-2 months, followed by near isolation for many months afterward. This would obviously preclude doing her  Tour. The worst part was the fact that the results FOR BREAST CANCER were not promising at all. She decided not to take that path, instead receiving radiation after the completion of chemotherapy. Months later, published results of clinical trials have supported her decision. 

Talks with the sponsor progressed to the point of "what color and what options" for the C5. Torch Red, of course, and automatic. The Tour schedule was filling in nicely, and would kick off with a sendoff from the Maine Governor's mansion on June 11!

Late in April, Sandy's beloved '63, "Velvet", was sold to a gentleman from Indiana, Mike Amick. This was a sad day for Sandy and Ben. The '63 had been a part of the family since 1977, and had been sold in '81 and repurchased in '90. Together, they were responsible for a cellar-full of trophies from shows, including a "Best In Show", and 60,000 miles of fun.
Tears.jpg (583841 bytes)
  1st start.jpg (638970 bytes)  thumbs up.jpg (624711 bytes)  Bye.jpg (604485 bytes)

Then came a major setback! The sponsor became increasingly hard to reach. Calls were not returned. Finally, the bad news: with less than a month before the Tour was to start, the deal was off!

For most people this would have been a disaster, but NOT FOR SANDY! She mulled this over for all of a few minutes, realizing that common sense would dictate quitting. Her determination to go through with her plan prevailed, however, and she called her friend Sonny Soule, who dealt in used Corvettes locally. Then she started working on the finances.

Long story short: Three days later, on May 21, she picked up her new (slightly used) '97 Torch Red automatic Vette! With the help of refinancing the house, cashing in her IRAs, and the sale of the '63, she now had a nearly flawless 10,000 mile C5 for what became her mission: the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour!

biggest grin.jpg (589982 bytes)  rest. parking lot.jpg (383728 bytes)

21 days to get acquainted with the new car and get some graphics installed on it!


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