It was a beautiful sight of the two together on the volleyball court in the Tiger Den at WCHS.
A special moment that the two were not so sure two years ago that they would get to share.
The elder Lacheta, whose daughter is a standout senior for the Warsaw volleyball team, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. She is now cancer free and was one of many to don pink Thursday night as the Tigers held a Dig Pink event to raise funds and awareness of the awful disease that impacts so many.
October is breast cancer awareness month and funds raised Thursday night go to the Kosciusko Cancer Care Fund.
Cheryl Lacheta dons a bracelet on her right wrist that tells you all you need to know about the 41-year old mother of two.
It simply says “Survivor.”
“It’s from Jamie and I wear it all the time,” said the elder Lacheta of her prized possession. “I was determined to be a survivor and I will make it. I feel great right now. But, more than anything, I feel blessed.”
The night meant a lot to Cheryl Lacheta, who went through chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiation treatments to combat the Stage 3-A cancer that was in her lymph nodes.
“This night shows what the girls can do to help others and it shows the bond between the girls and their parents,” said Lacheta, sporting a pink T-shirt with her husband John’s motto of Giving up is not an Option emblazoned on the back of it. “All these girls on this team are like daughters to me. They’ve seen me through this from start to finish and have loved me and looked out for me the whole way through.
“The thing is that people have to practice early detection and get their exams to check for cancer, no matter what type it is. Go get checked out like you are supposed to do. And they have to know that they can get through it. I did and they can too.”
Lacheta says her 17-year old daughter has been a rock throughout the entire ordeal.
“She’s handled this phenomenally,” said Cheryl, who was pronounced cancer free on Jan. 12, 2011. “She grew up and just blossomed. She’s such a fighter herself.”
The younger Lacheta, who helped lead her team to the NLC championship Thursday night, looked splendid in her No. 16 pink jersey.“This pink jersey means everything to me,” said Jamie after defeating Concord 3-0. “This hits on a really personal note for me with what my Mom went through. Our family has always been close, but this has made us even closer and all of us better people. It’s made me 100 percent a better person.
“My Mom is my hero. To see how strong she is and how strong I can be through her. Through this whole process, the thing is that her smile has always been so beautiful through it all. No matter what.”
Cheryl Lacheta has a simple goal as she continues her road to recovery.
“I want to be there for everything,” said Cheryl. “I’ve been married 20 years and want to have 40 more with my husband. I want to see my kids (Jamie and John) graduate from college and get married.”
Well said by a true survivor.