Lump to Laughter

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Her two children, both boys, were 3 and 1 at the time of diagnoses. She is married to her "rock" and best friend, Flint. She has a brother, who is a policeman and lives in another state. Originally from Durham, NC she made the coast her home after graduating at UNCW with a BS in Marine Biology and a minor in Education. After 2 years of teaching high school she started her career in real estate in 1996 with much success and enjoyment. In 2003, overcoming cancer became another "full-time job" for her. Although Connie survived childhood abuse by her mother and step-father, her victorious spirit did not prepare her for the fight of breast cancer. Her tough exterior was peeled away and as she was left exposed as she discovered her purpose in this world and slowly remade herself with a firm foundation that started with Christ. Her transforming, emotional and often-times hilarious journey through breast cancer can be found in the story of Grace.

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As a single mother, she has raised three children who were 26, 22 and 19 at the time of her diagnosis. They are definitely the sum total of her best efforts. She was employed at New Hanover Regional Medical Center as a Prescription Assistance Advocate. She was also a certified Chaplain. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age of 48. She had a tram flap surgery and unilateral mastectomy. The cancer she was diagnosed with was 2.5 cm in size. The cancer was contained with no evidence in her nodes, margins, or borders. Her pathway of treatment consisted of nutrition, a more natural approach of letting the body heal itself believing that you are what you eat.  In the fall of 2007, Renee was diagnosed with a recurrence of her breast cancer.  And on Good Friday, 2009, she went to be with God in heaven. She always said she would be healed and she was, IN HEAVEN.  Renee fought until the end to stay on this earth to make a difference and even in her final week was praying for others and calling everyone to be saved so that she could leave knowing that they would one day join her in heaven. Her story in a devotional book form will be released at a later date and the title will be appropriately-"Healed in Heaven-The Devotions of Faith" 


Patty was born in Fort Bragg, NC and moved to Wilmington as a child attending public school through high school. She attended Atlantic Christian College and got an associates degree in graphic design before moving to Charlotte to pursue a career in advertising and design. Patty eventually moved back to Wilmington where her prince charming (Phil!) found her, wooed her and married her in 2001.


Phil was born in Winston Salem and moved to Wilmington as a teenager. He worked in the chemical industry for 32 years in Wilmington prior to leaving that business to pursue other opportunities. He is now a real estate agent with Intracoastal Realty. Phil's hobbies include making Patty happy and public speaking.


Patty's involvement in Lump to Laughter began with a phone call from Renee Ballard asking her to meet with Renee and Connie to discuss the need for a logo for their project called "Lump to Laughter". After discussion and prayer, Patty went to the computer and the logo for Lump to Laughter flowed from her into the computer. Patty then drew the character Grace followed by her friends Hope and Faith.

When Patty told her husband Phil about the excitement of the project he became excited about the possibilities of where the project could go and the people who could be helped by the sharing of Renee and Connie's stories of conquering breast cancer.

It didn't take Patty and Phil long to know they wanted to be a part of this effort to spread the witness of these to conquerors.

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