"Race for Reba" Saturday at Lake Gladewater to benefit East Texa - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

"Race for Reba" Saturday at Lake Gladewater to benefit East Texas nurse

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GLADEWATER/UPSHUR COUNTY (KYTX) - Saturday morning, along the shores of Lake Gladewater, hundreds of people here in Gladewater and across East Texas are coming together for a silent auction, face painting, a 5K run and walk and more activities to benefit a woman who has spent nearly two decades caring for children.

"They love for you to whistle when they come in the room, or they just know how to get the smile out of you," says Reba Hicks, transport director at Truman Smith Children's Care Center in Gladewater.

Three-year-old Adam Mendoza is one of dozens of patients at the Truman Smith, and Hicks adores him.

"To hear the mothers call me the other mother really makes you feel good because they know you care about them just as much as they do," Hicks said.

She's worked at Truman Smith 17 years -- meeting hundreds of patients, their families and her colleagues. Now -- they're stepping up to care for her in a dark time.

"At first, it was questioning, "Why?'" Hicks said of her reaction in July to news that cancer had returned. She was originally diagnosed with cancer in January 2011, but seven months later, doctors said she was cancer-free.

Hicks says she's battling the disease again with faith.

"I made myself realize that God didn't bring me through the first time to let me down this time," Hicks said, "and that there was someone else out there I needed to touch. Someone I needed to tell."

Now those colleagues -- and parents of patients she's cared for since 1996 -- are stepping up with "Race for Reba" -- a 5-K run and walk Saturday morning at Lake Gladewater.

"Of course, we want to help her out financially," organizer Danielle Colby said, "but more importantly, we want her to walk away just feel really loved and really supported."

The money will help hicks with gas money for trips to Dallas for radiation treatment.

"Now, with a day to spare, Race for Reba has already attracted nearly 100 participants. Also, thanks to corporate sponsors like Pro-Stim and others, organizers have already brought together more than $2,000 to give to Ms. Hicks. They invite people, even if you don't have money to donate to this fundraiser, to come on out, because they want to give Ms. Hicks a visual appreciation of just how this community appreciates her.

Late registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Lake Gladewater, 1602 Lakeshore Drive in Gladewater. To find out more, call Colby at (903) 746-3507.

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