Florida veterinarian Janet Hoke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and underwent a double mastectomy and intensive chemotherapy treatments. Today a grateful Hoke is attempting to help fund the Susan G. Komen For the Cure to show her appreciation for its work in cancer research.
A partner in Tym Mar Farms in Lake City, Florida, Hoke has pledged some of the proceeds (over her break-even point) from the sale of her 11-horse consignment at the Keeneland September yearling sale.
“I had breast cancer two years ago and feel a need to give back,” said Hoke, who relocated from Virginia to Florida last year. “If it wasn’t for their research, I wouldn’t be here today. The Komen Foundation is great because so much of their funds go to help women (with breast cancer) who need help and to the research.”
Under Hoke’s pledge, Tym Mar will contribute 10% of the sale consignment proceeds above $500,000, which Hoke has calculated as her break-even point. She plan s to make a similar pledge with a different threshold in next month’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale.
Hoke and her sale staff are passionate in their promotion of Komen for the Cure. Ring handlers wear shirts bearing the charity’s name and a pink-ribbon sticker adorns the hips of the Tym Mar horses as they sell. Back at barn 11, brochures promoting Komen are distributed and the Tym Mar sales are charted on a large display that shows the goal.
Caring for 80 horses on 35 acres at Tym Mar is time-consuming for Hoke, who also helps some other farms with charity care of horses.
Undaunted after undergoing her cancer operation, she was back at the farm helping deliver a healthy filly. On another occasion, she drove 17 hours after chemotherapy to assist in the breeding shed.
For Hoke, it's a gift to see life go on -- human and equine.