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Patty’s Pit Crew prepares to walk in late coworker’s honor

Employees at CompHealth allied health staffing in Grand Rapids, Mich.,¬†are tickled pink to participate in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk on May 7. The team, called Patty’s Pit Crew, is walking and raising money in honor of a former employee, Patty Johnson, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010.

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Members of Patty’s Pit Crew have raised more than $1,200 for the walk through raffles, bingo games, soda can deposits and more. Kelly VerHage, manager of administration at CompHealth allied health staffing and team captain, says she worked with Patty for more than 10 years and watched her battle the cancer for three years with courage.

“Patty truly was someone who put a smile on her face no matter how much the side effects of her treatment was affecting her,” Kelly shares. “Most of our vendors were in shock after she passed away, as they never suspected she was even sick. As you can sense, Patty didn’t wallow about her condition; coming to work was an escape for her — an opportunity for her ‘just to be Patty, not Patty with cancer. Even at the end of her battle with cancer, she did not want to give up her post as receptionist, as she felt she’d be letting us down and accepting that the cancer was winning the battle.”

JulieAnn Marczuk, housing specialist, says Patty had a positive attitude every day and was a wonderful example to her coworkers.

“Whenever I was having a bad day, I only had to think of Patty to put things in perspective. After all, if she could come to work with a smile, so could I,” Julie recalls. “I was proud to walk with her and support her in her fight, and I will continue to walk in her honor whenever the Strides for Breast Cancer Walk comes to Grand Rapids.”

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