Song cut in Grand Lake studio supports fight against breast cancer |

Song cut in Grand Lake studio supports fight against breast cancer

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Capturing hope and inspiration, a song written by musician Steve Cormey of Grand Lake has become a catalyst of support for those with breast cancer.

“I don’t think you can run into somebody who doesn’t have some experience with it, whether a loved one or a friend. It touches everybody,” Cormey said Thursday in the courtyard of the Granby Library.

The song, “Ribbons of Hope,” illustrates the courageous journey women with breast cancer take and the alliance to find a cure.

The musician said he was inspired to write the song after taking part in Grand Lake’s Walk for the Cure.

He is not a stranger to the disease. His companion Jeanine Elsener is a survivor, as well as his mother, an aunt and a cousin.

A CD of the song along with a “Ribbon of Hope” T-shirt is being offered as part of a fundraiser to bring breast cancer resources and materials to libraries in Grand County. The goal of the campaign is to raise $3,000.

Such books would be cataloged throughout the library, easily found under a “breast cancer” search on the library’s computer.

Survivor Penny Hamilton understands the need to have resources on-hand. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall, the Granby resident looked to the library for research materials to help her understand her disease and the decisions that needed to be made.

However, she soon discovered that “there weren’t very many” materials on disease diagnoses, understanding treatments and emotional support, she said.

The local library system offered an inter-library loan, which can take seven to 10 days from out-of-county, but Hamilton says it was not something she could really wait for.

“By then I had to make major decisions,” she said. “I wanted to be able to speak (doctors’) language. I wanted to know success rates … I wanted to know things.”

Hamilton, who has since overcome the disease, discussed the need with Granby Library Branch Librarian Stephanie Ralph, a 20-year breast cancer survivor herself.

Hearing that the library needed funds for its resource center, Cormey, singer Peggy Mann and musician Brad Pageant have contributed the “Ribbons of Hope” track as part of a fundraising campaign.

At the last Race for the Cure, people were so moved by the song “Ribbons of Hope,” Cormey, Mann and Pageant made the song’s debut single in Studio B, a private Grand Lake studio.

“I’m real happy with the song,” Cormey said. “I’m real proud of it, and Peggy did such a good job singing.”

The library has also made available a list of resource materials in both Spanish and English that people might adopt for $25. With the contribution, the library book may be dedicated to a loved one on the inside cover.

Ralph says she hopes the campaign becomes a launching point to bring more informational resources to the library about other life-threatening diseases. She also hopes to make Web information readily available.

Having experienced such a disease herself, “it’s tremendous,” she said. She had been told she had only three months to live. “Everything comes together at that one time.”

Now as a survivor, Ralph reflects on how the crisis changed her.

She remembers thinking, “OK, so I’m not immortal, now what do I want to do with that information?

“I stopped putting things off and started taking responsibility for my life and started living it in the best way I knew how,” she said.

Ralph is working with Hamilton, Cormey and other community members to help the library become a center for timely information at crucial times, saying of the campaign’s progress thus far:

“You know when you have something good, it has a life of its own.”

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail