Models Of Courage

Six new members of Ford's Warriors in Pink® program tell their stories of what inspires them everyday.

By Kristin Baird Rattini

WHEN LINDA POND of Livonia, Mich. was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2012, she debated whether to keep her news private or to tell her friends and co-workers at Ford. But as an outgoing, upbeat person known for her energy and her laugh, Pond knew what she needed to do. “I decided I was going to be honest and open about it and tell everyone,” says Pond, 53, a senior business analyst for Ford’s information technology department. “The morning after my diagnosis, I sent out an email and asked everyone to give me all their positive thoughts and support.”

Pond, who today has a clean bill of health, is now sharing her “live out loud” philosophy as a Model of Courage for Ford’s Warriors in Pink® program. Ford launched Warriors in Pink in 2007 to intensify its support of breast cancer initiatives, which first started in 1994. Year after year, Ford remains inspired by all the survivors who are symbols of hope, courage and strength—survivors like Pond.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I am inspired by people who are passionate about something—be it a goal, a career, a place—and who use the limited time we all have here on Earth to do whatever they can to follow that passion.

AIMEE BARITEAU, ADVERTISING PROFESSIONAL

My inspiration comes from hearing stories from other men who are fighting this cancer. Hearing what these men and their families go through daily inspires me to be a warrior.

STEVE DEL GARDO, FOUNDATION DIRECTOR

I’m inspired by the gift of life and amazing family and friends. I wanted to be their source of courage, strength and inspiration. Each day on Earth is a blessing, and I never take that for granted.

KAREN MARTINEZ, PROJECT CONSULTANT

Nature is my inspiration. Plants that thrive in rocky crevices, despite their harsh conditions. This reminds me to grow strong in the face of adversity. I live out loud.

LINDA POND, FORD EMPLOYEE

I’m inspired by people who give without expectation and help others just because they can. I’m inspired by people unafraid to follow their dreams and people who beat the odds.

TRACY NICOLE, FASHION DESIGNER

I am inspired by acts of kindness. Even the smallest gesture can make a big difference. Holding the door open for someone, flashing a smile at them—these little things matter a lot.

CATI DIAMOND STONE, NONPROFIT DIRECTOR

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