Bobbie Starkel Bell's courageous battle against stage 4 breast cancer that she so bravely fought began in March 2015. As a 40- year-old married mother of a two-year-old and an employee of the local hospital she had a bad back ache for which she sought treatment. When a scan revealed the trunk area of her body was full of tumors. At first it was first thought to be bone cancer. After more testing, she learned that the cancer had come from her breast area. This prompted a mammogram that showed the cancer had left her breast area, which meant she had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
This was a death sentence from the start, but Bobbie being the strong determined woman she has always proven to be, decided to fight with all she had. After surgeries, radiation therapy and a newly released pill she lived a fairly good life for 2 + years. Then the cancer decided to mutate and it became a constant battle to stop the spread.
Chemo was begun and she quickly learned that she would probably not make it to work some days. But being the warrior woman she was, she would walk over to the Cancer Center, get her chemo treatment and then go back to work, never missing a beat. Her co-workers would describe her as an amazingly strong dedicated person, never to complain not even once about her condition and always staying on the positive side. Passing out information along with humor and an infectious laugh that everyone will remember her for. Her faith, family, and friends were her constant support!
She ever so bravely worked at her job up until 7 months prior to her death. Always keeping a smile on her face, even though her pain was showing on her face and body. She was passionately involved in women’s health issues by serving on the Go Red For Women and For The Girls events.
Her days became precious when she was able to be with and home school her daughter when COVID-19 closed the schools. Her hope was that someday soon the word "cancer" would not mean what it does today. And that with stepped up medical research studies for metastatic breast cancer, patients will live longer with a better quality of life and a cure for all cancers.
Forever in our thoughts, love and miss you Bobbie!
It is impossible to adequately express in a few sentences the impact Suzie had on everyone around her. How do you honor a life that has touched so many? From her students, fellow breast cancer survivors, health care providers, friends, her community, and her beloved husband and family.
Suzie was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Despite treatment her cancer returned eight years later. Unfortunately her relapse was a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. Part of Suzie’s courage was that she understood the science behind her disease and she knew exactly what she was up against. She without hesitation bravely took on the disease and shared her experience along the way. Her ability to stay upbeat and positive throughout very vigorous and intense therapy was a testament to her resilience.
Part of Suzie’s treatment was enrolling in a clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston. Data from that trial continues to impact how breast cancer is treated today.
She was an inspiration to all of us on the planning committee of For the Girls and helped us by sharing her story and supporting our cause.
Suzie was a teacher to everyone she met. Not only did she continue to work and educate students during her therapy, she educated us all regarding a life well lived. Once in a lifetime you are privileged to know another that can change your own life in such a positive way. For all her kindness, her energy, her efforts, her time, she will always be remembered and remain in our hearts.
Only people who have been touched by cancer really understand.