Honorary co-chairs for HOPE 2019 announced

are the honorary co-chairs of the 2019 HOPE Hutchinson Oil Patch Extravaganza. (provided photo)
Staff Writer

Event will be held Sept. 7 at Crutch Ranch

Four cancer diagnoses. Two funerals. One family. This is the reality for our 2019 HOPE honorary
chairs Jamie Cheatwood and his daughter, Barbie (Cheatwood) Green.
This year, the HOPE Committee is proud to honor Jamie and Barbie as co-honorary chairs. It couldn’t be more fitting that the theme this year is, “What’s raised here, stays here.”
Both born and raised in Hutchinson County, Jamie and Barbie embody the “small town” spirit of Hutchinson County, and the HOPE Committee is looking forward to a new era for the event that focuses on funding area organizations.
A graduate of Phillips High School, Jamie and his wife Paula raised their children under the open skies of the Texas Panhandle. Their children, Alton and Barbie, grew up watching their dad devote himself to his job as a process control superintendent at Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. for 40 years. Barbie followed in her dad’s footsteps with her own career at CPChem as a shipping and blending superintendent.
After adding spouses and grandchildren to the Cheatwood family, Jamie celebrated his retirement from CPChem in April 2015 with plans to travel with Paula and build his shop. But in April 2018, the family would face their first test. Barbie injured her shoulder, and during her rehabilitation, she detected a lump and pain in her chest. After the traditional mammogram, biopsy and pathology, she was diagnosed
with Stage IIIB breast cancer on June 6, 2018.
At this point, the Cheatwood family was not unfamiliar with cancer. By June of 2018, Alton Cheatwood and his wife Amy (Luginbyhl) Cheatwood had been supporting her father Jim Luginbyhl through the recurrence of his colon cancer in the fall of 2017.
Jim served as the HOPE Honorary Chairman in September 2018, just a few months after Barbie’s diagnosis.
The week Barbie prepared for her first chemotherapy treatment, her father Jamie mentioned some lingering pains to his doctor. He was finally building that shop and assumed the pain was from all the manual work he wasn’t used to anymore. After weeks of testing in both Amarillo and Dallas, Jamie received the news on Aug. 2, 2018, that he had pancreatic cancer. While he was starting to plan for 6-8 rounds of chemotherapy prior to surgery, a PET scan revealed the cancer had already spread to his liver, making it Stage IV and inoperable.
If that weren’t enough for one family, Paula’s dad (Jamie’s father-in-law, Barbie’s grandfather), Benny Buschman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in August, just after Jamie. He passed away in September. Amy’s dad, Jim Luginbyhl passed away from colon cancer the following January.
Within 15 months, the Cheatwood family experienced four cancer diagnoses, planned two funerals, and learned what it means to truly love those around them.
“It has been a long, emotional year. There have been highs and lows. We have stuck together and helped each other out. Cancer is definitely a time when you realize how important family is and that you are all in this together, even if only one family member has the disease,” Barbie said. “The outpouring of love and support from our extended family, friends, co-workers, and church family at Riverview Baptist Church has been overwhelming.”
There was a meal train set up for Barbie’s family during chemotherapy and right after surgery. Jamie had a church member drive him to an appointment when the rest of the family wasn’t able to go because of other commitments. “It makes you appreciate every day and the love you have around you,” Jamie said.
The road has not been easy. Jamie is undergoing chemotherapy every two weeks at Texas Oncology in Amarillo. Barbie had eights rounds of IV chemotherapy, double mastectomy, 35 rounds of radiation, reconstruction, hysterectomy (due to ovarian cancer risk) and is finishing up oral chemotherapy in August, also at Texas Oncology.
Both Jamie and Barbie met a lot of people at Texas Oncology. Barbie made a friend named Desha who is about the same age and had chemo at the same time as Barbie every two weeks. They were able to share experiences and are still in contact today. Both Jamie and Barbie credit their cheerleaders with helping them.
“Really, our whole support system has been in this with us from the beginning,” Barbie said.
Jamie and Barbie are using the same oncologist at Texas Oncology and both have the BRCA1 gene mutation that carries an increased risk of breast, pancreatic, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.
Barbie is cancer free today and finishing up treatments to prevent recurrence, but
Jamie’s battle will be lifelong. His advice, “Just be there for each other. There will be
ups and downs, but you have to stick together through it all. Nothing replaces a strong
support system.”
More information about their journey will be shared on the event Facebook page:
fb.com/BorgerHOPEGala. The 2019 Borger HOPE Gala will be held Saturday,
September 7th at the Crutch Ranch. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to noon
at Borger Bank. Tickets are $200 a pair. More information about the event and tickets can be found on the Facebook page.

About the Borger HOPE Gala

The 32nd Hutchinson Oil Patch Extravaganza “HOPE” Gala will be held on Sept. 7, 2019, at the Crutch Ranch and will include a night of good food, live entertainment, dancing, silent auction and more. The annual HOPE Gala brings together local volunteers, businesses, and community members dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients in Hutchinson County.
The Borger HOPE gala has been held annually since 1988 and has donated more than $2.9 million to the American Cancer Society. The money that our community has most graciously donated over the years has been spent nationwide, for the research, treatment, and care of cancer patients throughout the Panhandle and beyond.
Throughout the past decade of HOPE, this organization has had an ever-swelling desire
to raise the bar in benefiting the community that has so generously donated to this event.
As of 2019, HOPE is taking a new direction. The Hutchinson Oil Patch Extravaganza has become its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the sole purpose of benefiting the citizens and communities of Hutchinson County. Beginning in 2019, 100% of the net proceeds of HOPE will be spent on Hutchinson County residents.
Two new HOPE partnerships are being announced — Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation (HCHF) and Frank Phillips College, Borger (FPC).

About HOPE and Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation

HCHF’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer treatment and to promote and serve
the healthcare needs of residents living in Amarillo and the surrounding communities.
To help HCHF in their mission, a portion of HOPE’s net proceeds will be given, in trust, to HCHF for the benefit of Hutchinson County residents and Hutchinson County resident’s only.
In giving to HOPE, donors can rest assured that their donation will benefit their family, their neighbors, and their community. These funds will also be used to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, a local program through HCHF, again, to benefit Hutchinson County families with the burden of medical care for their children.

About HOPE and Frank Phillips

FPC, our local community college, will receive the remaining net proceeds. This money will be used to provide scholarships for potentially dozens of local Hutchinson County youth annually who might not otherwise be able to pursue higher education.
These need- and merit-based scholarships will require a minimum GPA, community service completion, and be available to every student at FPC. HOPE funds will be made available to academic,
vocational and certificate programs including Instrumentation/Electrical Tech, Nursing, Welding, Farm and Ranch management, and many others.
HOPE’s goal is that the next time an employer in Hutchinson County looks for a qualified hire, they will have applicants with deep roots to the area and the skills to make an immediate impact in our workforce and continue to improve the economic outlook of our community.
For more information, visit fb.com/BorgerHOPEGala or contact Curt Brancheau, 2019 HOPE general chairman, at curtbrancheau@gmail.com or 806-440-1302.