Kansas Biggest Rodeo

Phillipsburg, Kansas

August 1-3, 2024

Tough Enough to Wear Pink

Linda Briney has volunteered at the Phillipsburg rodeo for years, and when she got cancer for the third time, the rodeo was able to help her in return.

The Piedmont, S.D. woman lived in Phillipsburg with her husband Rick from 1985 to 2000, and was a Prairie Duster from 1987 to 1994.

At the rodeo, she’s volunteered in several ways: selling beer at the beer stand, handing out daysheets, and selling raffle tickets. Her husband Rick helps with the handicap parking, scans rodeo tickets, and helps committee members as needed.

She’s on her third bout with cancer. In 1992, she had thyroid cancer. Twenty years later, she had a hysterectomy, for uterine cancer. .

Then, in December of 2022, doctors found thirteen tumors in her body.

She’s had six rounds of chemotherapy treatment and medications, with plenty of side effects: allergic reactions to the medications, high calcium which caused stroke-like symptoms, brain fog, and more.

The tumors are gone, but doctors think they may return. Linda has a port, which will stay in for two years, in case the tumors return.

And she’ll have a CT scan every three months for the rest of her life, to see if the cancer comes back.

“If it does, I’ll have to start over and fight it again, which I have every intention,” she said. “I want to be on this good old earth as long as I can.”

She got a check from Hope in the Heartland, the organization that oversees the funds raised by the rodeo through its Tough Enough to Wear Pink fundraiser (always the first night of the rodeo, this year on August 1).

And the check came at the right time. She’d just been put on blood thinners, which insurance hadn’t covered yet. “That check came, and it was ‘hallelujah,’” she said. “I was able to cover the cost. The money couldn’t have come at a better time.”

For the past four years, she and Rick have come back to Phillipsburg during rodeo week, to volunteer. They bring their Airstream and stay with friends. .

The donation from the rodeo is so uplifting, Linda said.

“When you are first diagnosed with cancer, you’re thinking, ‘I’m leaving this world.’ And it’s such a mental boost to get the money, to know people are supporting you. I don’t know how to say how grateful I was for it.”

For every person wearing pink to the rodeo on August 1, the rodeo donates one dollar to the fund. That amount is matched by these local sponsors: A&A Distributing, Amber Wave, B&B Redimix Inc., Farmers State Bank, and Rodgers and Associates.

Last year, over $12,000 was raised for the fund; in the past 18 years, over $151,000 has been raised. One hundred percent of donations are given out; none is held back for administrative costs.


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