Mile 44: Betty S.
Betty Soares is pictured here doing what she loved best -- being with family (granddaughter Yasmin Soares) and indulging in her Minnie Mouse obsession!
Betty grew up in Davidsonville, MD and resided in Crofton, MD, raising a daughter, Deanna, and a son Keith. She adored her grandchildren, Jimmy, Emily, Yasmin and Simone (though Simone was just a baby when Betty died).
We lost Betty on November 25, 2008 after a long and fruitful fight against leukemia. After her diagnosis in the mid 1990s, she took part in every drug trial she could, paving the acceptance and widespread usage for the successful cancer treatment medicine, Interferon.
Her diagnosis didn't stop her from anything she wanted to enjoy; she went on cruises, beach party trips with friends, and toured Alaska. She enjoyed her church, her community, country music, dear friends, and work colleagues. Her career spanned from NASA Goddard to DavCo, where she worked up the ranks to head of accounting for all East Coast Wendy's and Friendly's restaurants, and served for two decades.
Betty was also known for (and ribbed about) her many collections, which included everything from the aforementioned Minnie Mouse to Betty Boop, snowmen and anything with a sunflower on it. She also grew a loyal following for her special cinnamon and sugar cookies, "Kisses", that she made for every family gathering and were quickly hoarded, hidden and gobbled up. Her children and grandchildren carry on the delicious tradition today!
As Betty fought against her leukemia, her son Keith decided to form a small team of friends and family to take part in the Leukemia & Lymphoma's Light the Night Walk. Betty took part every year, until her death, and our team continues to walk and fundraise to this day. Over the past 11 years, we have raised over $115,000 for the cause, and have been one of the DC area's highest earning non-corporate teams. Everyone takes part, from former co-workers to family and friends. Betty's youngest grand kids, Yasmin and Simone, hold an annual lemonade stand fundraiser that brings in hundreds of dollars a year, Betty's son Keith hosts fundraiser poker tournaments, and his wife Layla organizes an annual wine and cheese fundraiser.
Keeping Betty alive in our hearts and helping others with cancer is so very important. We are thrilled to support Emily in her amazing race and her cancer fundraising efforts!