PHOENIX - The first thing you need to know about Elana Wight is that her favorite color is, "Red! Red is beauty," she exclaimed. "And red became very special to me."
Special, because two years ago she began her battle with ovarian cancer; and all things red became her rally color.
"Live life to the fullest no matter how sick or how bad the cancer was," Wight said.
Thursdays became special, too, because that was the day she endured intensive chemotherapy, but never lost her signature style.
"I was going to wear my red cowboy boots and my red lipstick, so I feel beautiful and strong and courageous," she said.
The staff and patients at Arizona Oncology at the Biltmore felt her spirit, too, which is now as bright as her lipstick. She began referring to those chemo days as "Red Thursdays." Thursday, April 28 is Elana's 38th birthday, so she's calling it Super Red Thursday. And to celebrate, she packed her car with 300 red roses and headed to uptown Phoenix.
"We have a special delivery to all the patients and staff at Arizona Oncology," Wight announced in the oncology clinic reception area. "My birthday wish was to share Red Thursday with you."
She moved through rooms she knows all to well with a gift and an encouraging word.
"I didn't realize people are so thoughtful, going through or have been going through the same thing, and it feels good," cancer patient Lupe Fernandez said holding a fresh red rose.
A simple gift to match the message of Red Thursday to encourage, inspire and give hope.
Family Nurse Practitioner Michele Peetz has been with Wight since she started her treatment at Arizona Oncology. Wight's surprise visit goes the heart of all patients seeking comfort and support during the most difficult times of their lives.
"When you saw her hug that other patient who it was her first time here and scared to death," Peetz explained. "It means a lot to the next patient."
For info about the Red Thursday Foundation: http://www.redthursday.org/
For Elana Wight's GoFundMe account: https://www.gofundme.com/ujvs9eec