2018 Wings Award Recipient


Connie Nelson is the 2018 Wings Award Recipient

How has Connie exemplified courage & determination through her cancer journey?

Connie Nelson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. She has survived her most trying times with strength, courage and faith. She grew up watching her parents being kind and generous not expecting anything in return. Her thoughts…. this is just what people do.

She learned by example that love, compassion and generosity were nothing out of the ordinary. Connie has been a giving person since her childhood. While at the age of seven she saved her allowance along with her sister to buy Easter baskets for a couple of foster kids that lived next to her grandma.

When Connie grew up she married and had five children. Her life took a dramatic change in January 1995 at the age of thirty nine. She felt a lump in her left breast. She didn’t think anything of it at the time cause cancer has to hurt right? Four months went by when her husband demanded she have it checked out. She turned 40 on her birthday in May. She made the appointment and had a diagnostic mammogram and blood work. Her consultation consisted of three doctors who all agreed she had the horrible “C” word Cancer. Two days later her left breast was removed with proof positive cancer. Two weeks later they removed more tissue and lymph nodes in her left arm. She started five months of chemo every there weeks along with six weeks of radiation every day.

During her second round of chemo her father was diagnosed with gastric cancer. He passed away the day before he received his first retirement check the week of Father’s Day. Connie and her dad had the dream that when he retired they would build her dream home together. Her dream turned out to be just that a dream.

During her breast reconstruction she bled out loosing eight pints of blood. She remembered thinking “God am I going to die today”? They did not know if she was going to make it. She pulled through realizing God had given her a second chance at life.

Connie living in the city of Crestview Hills was very active in the community. She served on city council for three terms. One of her passions revolved around organizing the Memorial Day parade along with the Veterans Memorial at the city park.

She volunteers her time at the beginning of the school year where she provides haircuts held at the Bridge Community Church for anyone in need. During one of our coldest winters she bought food and collected blankets for the cold shelter in Covington. While making her delivery she was approached by a guy who demanded she give him what she had. She told him he could have it but it was for the shelter. By God’s grace he walked away. God was watching over her keeping her safe. Connie is always there to help anyone in need regardless if it is a homeless shelter, hospital or a stranger on the street.

Last month while at a gas station she noticed a lady with torn and ragged shoes, she took off her shoes and gave them to her. Connie also took in a homeless person a friend of hers knew for six weeks because she had nowhere to go.

She goes to nursing homes, rehab centers even homeless shelters to provide her services, even provides transportation to her shop if needed, never turned anyone away.

Connie is active at the Bridge Community Church. She led the singles group at one time. She helps greet people at the door and gets them to where they need to be. She helps whenever needed. No one is a stranger to Connie.

I lost my daughter in June of 2015 at the age of twenty nine. It was a very tragic time in my life. No one is ready to hear you will never see your child again on this earth. She was the only person that was there for me months later when no one else was around. It was her love, support and compassion that saved me. I don’t think I could have gotten through that time in my life without her.

I have known Connie for forty three years now. I couldn’t think of a better role model. She is truly a great friend and someone I am proud to call sister!

She has been humbled through God’s Grace. If you ask Connie if she does anything special she will tell you no, just doing what comes natural. You can always find Connie at her salon in Fort Thomas KY.

How has Connie lifted up others contrary to her diagnosis?

She goes to nursing homes, rehab centers even homeless shelters to provide her services, even provides transportation to her shop if needed, never turning anyone away.

Connie is active at the Bridge Community Church. She led the singles group at one time. She helps greet people at the door and gets them to where they need to be. She helps whenever needed. No one is a stranger to Connie.

Nominated written by Connie friend & ex-sister in law, Betty Gin.
Submitted February 15, 2018