There are times that we go through that help shape us as members of society and sometimes they’re dark times. Times that we feel we didn’t deserve or that seem unfair. While some stay in that darkness, others use it as strength to do something more. Caren Walley Edler and Cristen Walley Lebsack went through a very dark time with their mother and now, they work to end that darkness for others. Through the Queen of Hearts Foundation, twin sisters Caren and Cristen raised $24,000 for Ann’s Clinic Patient Care Bags to support those fighting ovarian cancer.
Caren and Cristen are twin sisters, raised in Orange County, who make a difference for women and their families who are suffering from ovarian cancer.
The Darkest Time
Marilyn C. Walley fought for 10 years against ovarian cancer. Through the high times, and through the low, Cristen and Caren stayed by their mother’s side. Then, in 1998, Marilyn lost her fight against cancer. Marilyn was only 53 years old but that loss inspired the twins to do something more, something in honor of their mother.
Shedding Light in The Dark
Three years after the loss of their mother, Caren and Cristen still had an urge to honor their mother. Originally, there were plans to start their own foundation, but then a friend introduced the twins to the Queen of Hearts Foundation. For 16 years, the twins served on the Foundation Board all in the name of their mother. However, they wanted to do more, something special for their mother. Thus began the Breakfast Club event.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is an annual event in Orange County that honors women who have been affected by ovarian cancer. The first event was dedicated to Caren’s and Cristen’s mother, Marilyn. The second annual Breakfast Club was dedicated to another mother from Ladera Ranch, Sandra H. Luebking. Most recently, the 2017 Breakfast Club event was dedicated to All Cancer Survivors. During the event, a hot breakfast was served, Dr. Leslie M. Randall from UC Irvine Health, gave an update on where ovarian cancer research is currently. Lastly, cancer survivors shared their stories with everyone in attendance to help inspire and motivate to keep fighting, keep living. The event proved very successful as $24,000 was raised to donate to Ann’s Clinic Care Bags. Each bag costs $150 to put together and is handed to high-risk patients who walk into Ann’s Clinic at UC Irvine Health’s Chao Comprehensive Cancer Center in Orange.