On Saturday, it was a sea of pink on Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront. Nearly 3,000 participants came out to support Susan G. Komen Tidewater’s annual Race for the Cure.
Amongst the crowd, in her pink baseball cap and hot pink tutu, was Granby High School teacher Camille Yorke. The 14 year breast cancer survivor was parading the streets with an army of 79 current and former students, colleagues, and friends.
Camille started participating in the race after she was diagnosed the first time, 14 years ago.
“When I came out here it was just me, two students and a parent,” Yorke laughed.
Camille was diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 years old. The now three-time warrior has a unique form of cancer.
“I have a triple negative and a positive form of cancer. The negative cancer, it can’t be tracked. You can’t see where it’s going next. Positive cancer is easier to track. The third time my cancer came back, it came back as triple negative,” said Yorke.
However, despite the hardships Camille has faced, her bright personality keeps her and those around her lifted.
Nadia Wright met Camille 15 years ago, when she was a student in her class. She said Camille is not just a former teacher but a dear friend, and her infectious spirit is like none other.
“All in all her personality, her energy, her laughter. It never changed. From that moment up until what you see now, is exactly who she is,” said Wright.
So far, Nadia has participated in Race for the Cure seven times and plans to participate in many more.
“Her life is so precious to me and I don’t want to miss any part of it. I want to say that I’ve known her and that I’ve seen every moment of her life until the very end.”
Emily Gulbronson-Carl is another former student of Camille’s, from 15 years ago. This was Emily’s 4th year in a row walking by Camille’s side.
“She helps anyone she possibly can, all of the students, friends, and family. So why not celebrate her for at least one day of the year? We can help support her with what she’s going through,” said Emily.
This was Camille’s largest group to date. With tears in her eyes, she couldn’t stop expressing her sincere gratitude for all of the support she received over the years.
“I have so much support from these kids. I don’t think anyone really knows how I feel. Teenagers don’t get a great reputation, especially in today’s day and age. They’re really good people, they support me, and I love them for it,” said Yorke.
Camille said she’s already looking forward to next year.
You can watch my full interview with Camille, on our On The Scene Facebook Page.