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.
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Dan immediately went pedal to the metal, lining up the contacts in the Corvette field that
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 who was to
provide the use of a new C5 Corvette and cover expenses for the Tour.
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 Mike, a gentleman from Indiana. This was a sad day for Sandy and Ben. The '63 had been a part of the family starting in 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.
Augusta ME Show, 1990
The tearful farewell to "VELVET", her beloved '63
Then came a major setback! The sponsor became increasingly hard to reach. Calls were not returned. Finally, the bad news: 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, 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!