Pink Vail team shares stories of survival, support
The Pink Vailed Whales brought out friends from Martha’s Vineyard, Vail to the slopes
There are many ways to spend a 60th birthday, but for Monica Shelton Reusch, there was only one way to spend it: on Vail Mountain celebrating Pink Vail and so much more.
Shelton Reusch organized the Pink Vailed Whales, just one of the many teams that flocked to Vail Mountain on Saturday. In its eighth year, Pink Vail is an annual spring fundraiser that benefits all patients at Shaw Cancer Center through enhancements to patient care and patient programming. These unique services can dramatically impact a patient’s quality of life but are not typically covered by insurance.
The Pink Vailed Whales team was comprised of over a dozen ladies from Vail and Martha’s Vineyard and also included members from as far away as Canada and France. They even got support from Martha’s Vineyard-based clothing company, Vineyard Vines, who provided their signature headwear, which was a large pink foam whale that they attached to their helmets. They also used Vineyard Vines’ slogan, “Every day should feel this good,” as they set out to conquer cancer one turn at a time.
“I’ve been doing Pink Vail for about five years now and last year we brainstormed and came up with the idea to ask Vineyard Vines to support us. The founders, Shep and Ian Murray were very generous in helping us out. Both of their parents died of cancer, so they wanted to help out the cause,” Shelton Reusch said.
There were two cancer survivors in the Pink Vailed Whales group, so the day was extra special as these ladies were both able to come out and ski with the team and enjoy the day.
Clare Sullivan is a nurse who had her treatments done in Boston but is impressed with how the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards uses the funds from Pink Vail to provide programs beyond just cancer treatments. Patients can take advantage of nutrition and yoga classes, mindfulness training, fitness programs and so much more.
“As a nurse, this means a lot to me because it is really promoting wellness, education and support for patients and families,” Sullivan said.
“I think in Boston I took for granted the support we had,” Sullivan added. “But to think that the Shaw Cancer Center provides all that support for the whole regional area, that’s amazing and if I can give back to that, I feel really lucky to support such programs.”
The other cancer survivor in the group was Jennifer Blum of Martha’s Vineyard. “This was my first Pink Vail and it’s all about celebrating Monica and her birthday, but also just celebrating life and survival,” said Blum. “To feel the joy of being active and outdoors and having fun while being supported by a wonderful group of friends and family, we are just here as a team. It’s the true spirit of Pink Vail.”
The ski racer turned hotelier who was close to President Ford embodied the soul of Vail for nearly 60 years.