Cancer can't keep her down
There's strong, then there's STEF STRONG. In October of 2011, Stefanie Hurt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 24 years old, pregnant and had just found out her dad was terminally ill. The Perham resident survived chemo, a double mastectom...
There's strong, then there's STEF STRONG. In October of 2011, Stefanie Hurt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 24 years old, pregnant and had just found out her dad was terminally ill. The Perham resident survived chemo, a double mastectomy and the passing of her father. Stef credits her faith, family and a passion for the outdoors with helping her beat "the beast." You see, despite all the adversity, Stef continued to hunt and fish.
"You get a lot of think time when you are fishing or hunting. It's very therapeutic," Hurt said. "When I'm outside, with nature, I have the best company in the world and that's God."
Fast forward to the Fall of 2013, the cancer was back for round two, and Stef had to once again answer the bell.
"Sometimes it's hard to understand why certain things happen," Stef said. "That's when you need to take a step back and understand there is a reason, you just don't know what it is."
Stef now believes she may have found the reason. She is now using her experience to help others battling cancer. This spring she started a non-profit called W.I.N.K. (Women In Need of Kindness), an acronym that has special meaning to her. Stef says she remembers feeling like the people around her didn't know how to react to her diagnoses.
"They don't know what to say, don't know what to do."
She says the best thing people can do is just wink.
"I always feel really good when someone winks at me."
The purpose of her non-profit is to raise money to provide financial support to women who are fighting cancer.
"Not everyone needs a trip to Disneyland. Some people can't even afford a wig. Let us make your car payment for a month. Let us get you some healthy food in your stomach. Let us take the family out on the water to catch some fish and forget your problems for a few hours."
To accomplish this goal, Stef is asking people to donate to her non-profit. "I need other people's help. Isn't that what life is really all about? Isn't that why we're put here? To do good things?"
Cancer or no cancer, Stef continues to inspire those around her and leads by example. She shows no signs of slowing down and recently had a successful bear hunt in Canada. Stef reminds us, "In life it doesn't matter when you're born or when you die, it's that little dash that matters."
Remember, it's not about having time, it's about making time. If you'd like to donate to W.I.N.K contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 47, Perham, MN 56573. To see more stories from the great outdoors, visit www.theoutdoorreport.com .
For a video on Stef Hurt, please visit www.wadenapj.com .