Beautiful Women: Kindred sisters let inner beauty shine in the darkest situationsDillworth, MN (WDAY TV) -- Cancer, for many people who have been touched by it, there is no uglier word. But often the worst in life brings out the best in people, and that's exactly what we found as Forum Communications continues our special project, Beautiful Women.
By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY
Dillworth, MN (WDAY TV) -- Cancer, for many people who have been touched by it, there is no uglier word.
But often the worst in life brings out the best in people, and that's exactly what we found as Forum Communications continues our special project, Beautiful Women.
Tonight a first for our beautiful women series. We have two sisters. Elaine Anderson of Dilworth and Joan Klinnert of Kindred let true, inner beauty shine in the darkest of situations.
Beautiful Women creators Bill Marcil Junior and Chris Linnares and our team sat down with the dynamic duo recently and amid lots of laughs, got an up close look at the true beauty of empathy
Elaine Anderson: "Our parents would always say - don't ever let them sit together in church"
Just by looking at Elaine Anderson and Joan Klinnert there is no doubt they're sisters. 2 of 9 children in their family.
And after hearing them tell stories there is no doubt their family shares an incredible, unbreakable bond.
Elaine Anderson: "But as family we can stick together and stay together and we can accomplish just about anything."
It was a faith tested when Elaine and Joan's brother and his daughter were both diagnosed with cancer within a month of eachother..
Story on TV...Dana Mogck / Kerstin Kealy Reading: "A big benefit is set for this weekend in Perham, Minnesota for a Father and Daughter both battling cancer. Steve Doll and his 25-year old daughter Stefanie have been undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries for cancer."
Steve has Stage Four Lung Cancer, and Stefanie has breast cancer.
Joan Klinnert: "It was stage 4"
Elaine Anderson: "Stage 4 and there's not a lot we can do - go home and put affairs in order"
For this occupational therapist and assisted living center administrator. The grim diagnosis was a call to action, but it wouldn't be their style to just have a normal benefit. If they raised enough money.. they would both shave their heads.
Elaine Anderson: "If we raised $500, we would be doing good."
Joan Klinnert: " And I said, I've got prettier hair than you - my hair's worth a whole lot more than that."
With family support, an idea quickly grew - and a rivalry formed. A benefit that saw 700 people. That ended with these sisters making good on a promise.
Elaine Anderson: " They got 2 barstools and they said Elaine and Joan come on down."
Joan Klinnert: "But they sat us across from each other - and Elaine's husband Tim went ahead and shaved her head then my husband and 3 of my daughters shaved my head. But what was interesting was Elaine's clippers worked a lot better than mine and so her head was almost fully shaven before mine even really got going and all I could do is I said, you look like mr. clean - because she ws just shiny and I thought what am I doing - I was very nervous - you were not."
Elaine Anderson: "It was emotional - there were a lot of tears."
Their selfless gift helped raise nearly $10,000 to help their brother and his daughter with medical bills.
Elaine Anderson: "It wasn't just about raising the money, for me it it was about one's journey. I have so much to be thankful for."
Joan Klinnert: "Everytime that I would look in the mirror I would see Steve. It just really taught me the gift of time. It also taught me that life is short and that so much of what we deal with is small potatoes compared to the big picture of life."
The memories are bitter sweet. They say this experience has been an incredible gift.. and say they've gotten through it all with laughter, even amid the tears..
Their brother, Steve lost his battle with lung cancer early this month, after suffering for 10 months. Their niece at 26 years old is in remission after her battle with breast cancer.
Joan Klinnert: "I think that life gives you a hard ball sometime and gives you joy and pain but I think the saying that Steve always said, it is what it i s and you have to take that and deal with that and make the best of it."
Elaine Anderson: "No matter what your faith is, everybody in life has been dealt an abundance of goodness - we have to be able to celebrate that with oursleves, with our familes, with our community - celebrate the goodness - because it certainly overrides the hardships in life."
You can hear much more about Elaine and Joan in tomorrow's Forum. They'll also be on the Christopher Gabriel Program tomorrow.
And you can find more information about our continuing project, and how to nominate and honor a beautiful woman in your life at beautiful women of dot area voices.com.