Eighteen years ago, Amy Walsh's dad was worried that he was going to lose the family's home as he struggled to pay his wife's medical bills.
He was too embarrassed to let anyone know that he was struggling, but finally was forced to go to a friend who was a banker and confided in him.
"The church and community began having fundraisers for us," remembers Walsh, as she struggles to get the words out. "There were bake sales and rummage sales and such, but I thought everyone was just being nice. I didn't know how bad it was."
Breast cancer ended up taking the life of Walsh's mother, and then her aunt the following year.
"I talk with my dad often and we talk about those days," she said. "He said he was so stressed out trying to pay mom's medical bills with me in college and my sister was getting married."
Walsh's mom and aunt often golfed together and after they died, the family began going out and playing golf in memory of them.
Soon, extended family and friends were joining in and they decided to make the outing a fundraiser, donating funds raised into an account to help other families struggling while battling breast cancer.
Walsh has only been back to Michigan to participate in one of her family's outings there, but decided that it didn't just have to be held in her mom's home town -- someone in Santa Rosa Beach might also be in need of such help.
Five years ago, Walsh founded For Her golf tournament, which will be held this year on Sept. 30 at Santa Rosa Beach Golf Club. And, three years ago, For Her Tea was added, which takes place the Sunday before Mother's Day at The Vue on 30A restaurant.
Her dad comes down each year to participate in her golf outing.
All the money raised from these events goes into a fund to be used for breast cancer patients who are going through treatment and need help.
"We buy gift cards for gas, prescriptions, utilities, etc. to help them get their bills caught up, and one or two months forward to give them breathing room," said Walsh.
So far, For Her has raised between $40,000 to $50,000 and has helped seven patients.
"This is why I do what I do," said Walsh. "The problem is that not of lot of people know about us. We have been operating mostly by word of mouth. I leave a card at nurse's stations and doctor's offices, but it's hard for patients to say 'I need help.' We want them to know we are here and we try to make it as easy as possible."
For more information, visit www.foreher.org.