Appreciation of a Different Kind – A Team THA Story

At our recent Employee Appreciation Day event at Cinergy Tulsa, two members of Team THA felt appreciation for a very special reason.

“When I had my mammogram and didn’t get the pink envelope, I knew something was wrong,” recounted Billie Lunsford, a Groundskeeper at Tulsa Housing Authority.

Billie is a member of a running group and continued racing during her cancer battle

She received a phone call from her doctor the day after Thanksgiving 2021 with the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She would begin treatment in early January of this year, only five days after her mother passed away.

“Even though I don’t have my mom with me while I continue my cancer journey, I thank God that I have my family from my running group and car club, my work and my family,” said Billie.

A very special part of Billie’s family is her oldest daughter, Jenny, who also works for Tulsa Housing Authority as a Leasing Assistant. “Jenny went with me to my first chemo treatment. I’m sure that place will never the same…,” she joked.

Jenny and Billie Lunsford with Billie’s husband of 48 years

“One of the wonderful things about my mom is that no matter how tough or challenging anything may be, you are not going to hear her complain and you may not even be able to tell that she is going through something,” said Jenny.

“Throughout her entire cancer journey, since day one, my mom has had the most uplifted spirits the whole way, such strong spirits that you would not even know that she is going through one of the most challenging things in her lifetime. She hasn’t skipped a beat.”

Billie also rang the bell at her cancer treatment center when she finished chemo

Billie completed her last chemotherapy treatment on May 5th and has been undergoing radiation therapy since July. She also had surgery in June to remove the cancer, which thankfully was successful.

“At the THA Employee Appreciation Day event, members of the Affordable Housing leadership team arranged for me to ring the bell at Cinergy in front of my awesome THA family to mark the end of my chemo treatments,” said Billie.

Jenny said of the experience, “Ringing the bell was something that bound this whole journey into a happy ending that has continued to motivate my mom.”

Billie celebrates being cancer free at our THA Employee Appreciation Day event

Billie said, “I am so blessed to work for THA, an organization that understands and is concerned about you as a person.”

Billie completed her final radiation treatment this month, and said confidently, “I am a cancer survivor!”

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