Kathie Reagan knew Friday would be a special day, but she didn’t know how special it would become. The registrar at St. James High School already was excited to adhere to tradition and ring the bell signaling her final chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at the Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network at Murrells Inlet. She thought her family might show up for the big day – and boy, did they.
In addition to her husband, Tom, and twin daughters Brooke and Hannah, Kathie got a surprise from her extended family of coworkers in the guidance department at St. James High School. Wearing “kicking it for Kat shirts,” the gang burst into the bell-ringing ceremony with the song “Ring my Bell” playing, shiny pink star balloons, a customized “last chemo day” cake and a new round of warm hugs for the coworker and friend they’ve helped support through her second round of breast cancer.
“Well, we couldn’t miss it,” Caroline Ross, the guidance director, said matter-of-factly about surprising her coworker for the bell-ringing moment. “We have just been very proud of Kat. She’s stayed so resilient.” It’s not unusual for loved ones to join patients as they ring the bell marking the end of chemotherapy, but Kathie may be the first patient to have a dozen folks there – some capturing the moment on video, others shedding tears of joy for Kathie’s milestone in treatment and recovery. “It meant so much to me,” Kathie said. “I couldn’t have done it without their support. They are amazing. We share much more than just our office. We are family.”