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Book Lovers hold breast cancer event in honor of Maudie Bedford

“Cancer is an indiscriminate killer, and it goes after young and old,” explained Roger Bedford, attorney and former senator, during his remarks at the annual Walk to Wellness breast cancer fundraiser.

The event is hosted by the Russellville GFWC Book Lovers Study Club each October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“What we need to do is keep raising money like this and get the research done so that we can eliminate cancer and allow people to live good, healthy lives,” he added.

Bedford’s experience on this front is far too close to home, as he lost his wife of more than three decades, long-time Russellville resident Maudie Bedford, to cancer in March of this year. She battled breast cancer 12 years ago, and it returned two years ago in the form of breast and colon cancer.

“I miss Maudie every day,” he shared. “After 37 years, I still want to get her a cup of coffee in the morning. Thank y’all for being here, and thank you for dedicating this event to her memory. I can’t thank you enough on behalf of my family.”

Funds raised will go toward helping local people with screenings and treatment.

“Maudie raised money and worked to help others with breast cancer while she was undergoing breast cancer treatment herself,” explained club president Brenda Oliver. “She was a very caring person.”

Club member and former club president Patricia Cox explained the annual event started five years ago.

“The president of the Book Lovers Club always has a project, and we chose Breast Cancer Awareness,” explained Cox. “When I mentioned it to Maudie, she was on board fully. We just kind of continued what she was already doing.”

Cox said many in attendance at this year’s event, which included several members of Maudie’s family, knew her well and “what a giving heart she had.”

“Maudie was already helping women with incidentals, like needing help with a wig or special eyelash cream or anything she could do because she knew, you want to feel beautiful, and she was such a beautiful soul and such a giving soul,” continued Cox.

“Maudie, myself, Rebecca Reeves and Sheila Upchurch met and planned this event, and we just feel like Maudie was so instrumental in this,” Cox added. “Over the five years, we’ve raised over $10,0000 to give to the community for women and families. We love Maudie and honor her.”

“We have been blessed,” added club member Michelle Sibley. “Most of the people here today have walked this walk for several years in a row, and you have really helped us bless people in need in this community.”

Sibley introduced Dr. Jeffrey Manord as speaker.

“I can tell you the relief on somebody’s face when they realize, ‘Hey, I’ve got help. I’ve got somebody that’s supporting me.’ I thank your group for what you do,” Manord said.

Ninety-nine people registered for the event, and about 65 participated in the walk. Cox said while the total raised is not final, it “was right at $3,000,” noting they usually average around $2,000 for the event.

Proceeds will be donated to the Russellville Hospital Cancer Fund as well as directly to individuals for screenings, treatment and to help survivors.