19 Years and Counting: ‘A Sole Team for Vickie’ Treads Many Miles for the Cure

Phil with Vickie (left). Phil donated to Locks for Love at the 2009 Triangle Race.








Many of our Triangle Race for the Cure supporters and teams have been with us since our early years, including our overall top fundraising team, A Sole Team for Vickie.

“Our goal is to use A Sole Team for Vickie to fulfill our commitment to Vickie, to inspire and support others, and to be a competitive and consistent fundraiser. Our strategy is to make the biggest impact possible with the resources available to us. We will never be the largest team by team member count but we will always make an impact!” shared Vickie’s husband, Dennis Grabowski.

When asked the team’s captain, Phil Byrd, what motivates him to stay involved, he said, “It’s simple. I made a commitment to my sister Vickie to keep A Sole Team for Vickie alive until a cure for breast cancer is found.”

Besides their incredible fundraising, Dennis and Phil’s team is also known for their Corn Hole for Cancer activity on Race day. Race attendees are invited to connect when they join the fun, throw bags, and help raise more dollars for the cures.







Here’s more from Team Captain Phil Byrd on his 19-year experience with Susan G. Komen NCTC and our annual Triangle Race for the Cure.

How did you first become involved with Susan G. Komen?

My sister Vickie was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2002.  That year, we formed A Sole Team for Vickie (ASTFV) and entered in the Triangle Race for the Cure to support Vickie in her battle against breast cancer.

At Komen, it is our mission to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer. What does Komen’s mission mean to you?

Raising money and committing time to support those who are battling breast cancer while at the same time supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.

What was your impression of your first Race?

Our first Komen Race for the Cure in 2002 was incredible! Thousands of people in support of the single objective of altering the course of breast cancer as we then knew it to be. The large gathering of supporters and survivors instilled the feeling of hope and the confidence of knowing that we were not alone in the journey to battle breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer amplifies the emotions of FEAR and ISOLATION, the race event deamplified those emotions.

What has surprised you most about being involved with the Race?

Seeing other teams like ASTFV and individuals who are still supporting the mission of Susan G. Komen year after year.

What do you wish other people knew about Komen?

People need to understand the reason for Komen being here is personal. Komen’s mission isn’t just words in a sentence, but a commitment and the belief that a world without breast cancer IS actually possible.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I do not make commitments lightly, but when I do I follow through. (So true!)

What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating?

A portion of your donation will be used to both support someone who is currently battling breast cancer and a portion will be used to support research to find the cures for breast cancer.

What do you hope the organization will achieve in the future?

In the short term, I would like to see Susan G. Komen increase participation as well as fundraising.  In the long term, finding a cure for breast cancer.

What is your favorite quote, motto, or slogan?

Reputation is what other people think of you. Character is who you are when no one else is around.

At Komen, we are continually inspired by A Sole Team for Vickie’s support, passion, and commitment to seeing an end to this terrible disease. We are so honored to have them as part of our local Komen family.

Feeling inspired too?!  Click here to make a donation to A Sole Team For Vickie in support of the MBCCRI!