Style shop to raise money for Go Run team

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Staff at His and Her Style Shop are donating their time for the Gun Run — Team Rhonda, which will be running in the 2017 Go Run 5K and 1-mile Fun Run at the University of South Alabama.

The Go Run will be held on Sat., Sept. 16, in Mobile. Proceeds are for USA’s Mitchell Cancer Institute.

The local style shop will be painting the town teal for ovarian cancer awareness month on Wed., Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Teal streaks, teal polish and blowouts are going to be offered during the painting.

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This year marks the 10th year for the race, which is about the same amount of time Rhonda Brantley has been battling ovarian cancer. Brantley’s sister, Jennifer Drew, works at His and Her Style Shop.

Drew said they want to make Rhonda’s team the largest yet since the race’s inception.

“Rhonda loves children, faith and family,” Drew said. “That’s what’s gotten her this far.”

Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries, according to the American Cancer Society. Ovaries are reproductive glands found only in females. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) for reproduction. The eggs travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus, where the fertilized egg implants and develops into a fetus. The ovaries are also the main source of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Brantley said she wants to let other women know that having ovarian cancer isn’t a death sentence.

“Although most ovarian cancer is not caught until stage three or four, there are many treatments available,” she said. “Through molecular testing, tumor cells can be tested for sensitivity to many drugs. My cancer just happens to be slow growing and sensitive to several different drugs. Also, new treatments and therapies are available and more are on the horizon.”

Brantley said USA’s cancer institute is on the cutting edge of research and has many trial studies that are ongoing. The Mitchell Cancer Institute is the only research institute in the upper Gulf Coast.

Since her cancer diagnosis, Brantley said her doctors have been fantastic.

“I have the best oncologist (Dr. Michael Finan, director of USAMCI) in the world,” she said. “Every cancer patient should select the very best doctor they can find. My general surgeon, Dr. Steven Kinsey, referred me to Dr. Finan. I’m very thankful that he did.”

Brantley said Finan was the first gynecologist in Mobile to perform robotic surgery with the DaVinci Robotic Surgery System, and was listed in the most recent top doctors directory issued by the “U.S. News and World Report.”

Brantley said through Finan, she’s experienced many treatments, adding that the cancer is being treated as a chronic disease.

One constant in Brantley’s life since her diagnosis has been her faith and hope in God, along with her devotion to family and friends.

“I lean on scripture to keep me positive and in the right frame of mind and I enjoy the love of family and friends each day,” she said. “I usually have something planned for a future date in which to look forward. After nine years, I don’t spend much time thinking of my cancer. I don’t allow it to rob my mind or to steal my joy.”

Brantley said it means a lot to her having her friends throw this fundraiser for the team and for the cancer research institute.

“I am overcome with feelings of humility and gratitude each time I think of others who do something for me or in my honor,” Brantley said. “The hardest lesson that I have learned is to receive. It was always easy to give to others. Now I know that when others do something for me or in my honor, it is their way of expressing love.

“I see their acts as God reaching out to me,” she said. “I receive God’s loving touch through their special acts of kindness and generosity. I have learned to receive and give thanks.”

Brantley taught school at Escambia Academy and A.C. Moore. In 1998, her family moved to Baldwin County, where they now reside in Silverhill. She is married to Mike Brantley, and the couple have two children and three grandchildren.