Cancer survivor to speak during Pink Flamingo Nite

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The seventh annual Pink Flamingo Nite at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne is drawing closer.

This year's event will be held Thursday, Oct. 27 and will focus on the theme "Believe There is Hope for a Cure - Be The Hope." It includes a light supper, vendors, wine bar, cancer information, survivor style show, and guest speaker, Kathleen Splitt.

Vendors and wine bar will open at 5 p.m. They will include a variety of personal care items, clothing and housewares. The meal will be served starting at 5:30 p.m.

This year's speaker will be Kathleen Splitt, who was born and raised in York County, Nebraska on a farm near McCool Junction.  

"I grew up in 4-H, learning to cook, sew, babysit, raise livestock, and other miscellaneous things young women did on the farm in those days. Though I had a sister who died before I was born from a brain tumor, and an uncle who died from Non Hodgkins’ Lymphoma when I was still in preschool, I never thought much about cancer, and certainly never anticipated it would be a part of my story," she said. 

She was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament of the Presbyterian Church USA at The Presbyterian Church in Fremont on Nov. 22, 1998.

In 2013 she received the diagnosis of breast cancer the day she and her husband were packing to move from Adrian, Michigan to Axtell, Nebraska. 

"I knew no one near Axtell but a beloved “un-sister” who was an X-ray technician at Good Samaritan hospital in Kearney. She was my bridge from the diagnosis in Michigan to my treatment in Nebraska," Splitt said.

Her treatment included radiation and Herceptin, in addition to surgery.

She has now been cancer free for nine years and continues to have regular mammograms and follow-ups due to being part of a trial group. She says she was fortunate because her cancer was found at Stage 0.

Kathleen is married to Rev. Jim Splitt, also a PCUSA minister and currently transitional minister at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne.  

"He loves me through the mountaintops and valley lows of life.  He gently and patiently cared for me through the scary 'Big C.' Cancer is one of the worst things that ever happened to me, and Jim is the best!" she said.

Together the couple have six sons, two granddaughters, and are owned by a five-pound toy fox terrier named Skeeter Bug. 

Tickets for this year's Pink Flamingo Nite are now on sale and can be purchased at Our Savior Lutheran Church, all of the banks in Wayne, Swans Apparel, IKT, Hair Envy, Providence Community Pharmacy, Wayne Area Economic Development Office in Wayne, as well as Missa Sue Salon in Laurel and The Quilt Shop in Wakefield. They will be available until Oct. 21.

Musical entertainment will be part of the evening's program.

A style show with cancer survivors as models will feature clothing from local clothing stores.

In addition, a quilt raffle will be held for a quilt sewn by Vernae Luhr.

Tickets for the raffle are now on sale and can be purchased at Our Savior Lutheran Church, The Quilt Shop in Wakefield and other participating locations or by contacting Tracy Henschke (tracyhenschke@gmail.com) or Christina Junck at (402) 369-0676. They are $5 each, three for $10 or seven for $20.

Sponsors for the event include Providence Medical Center, Our Savior Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in America (WELCA) and Pac 'N' Save. 

Supporting funds are being provided by Thrivent Financial.

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