The now 89-year-old was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 after the discovery of a lump during a routine mammogram. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy followed. Weaver lost strength in her right arm, but her commitment to the game never wavered.
“I lost all my hair, but I think I only missed two weeks of bowling,” she said proudly.
Even a reoccurrence of cancer in 2021 has not kept Weaver off the lanes. While her ball weight has steadily decreased — from 14 to 12, 10 and now 9 — Weaver still competes in two leagues a week at Victory Lanes in Springfield.
“The people keep me coming back,” she said. “I really look forward to it.”
It is survivors like Weaver that will be celebrated at the upcoming Springfield Clark County Strike Out Cancer Annual No-Tap Tournament. In its 19th year, the event has raised more than $20,000 for local cancer focused organizations.
According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, an estimated 297,790 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States in 2023. Survival rates have increased significantly in recent years as the five- and 10-year relative survival rates for women with invasive breast cancer are 91 and 84 percent, respectively.
“Betty is a very positive lady and is proud of winning her fight against cancer,” said Lynn Rowland, Springfield Clark County United States Bowling Congress association manager.
Weaver is also a long-standing association board member who will be volunteering at the tournament again this year.
All participants will have the opportunity to recognize survivors as well as those currently battling cancer during the event with personalized “I Bowl For” signs.
“This is a tradition we started a couple of years ago, similar to what Major League Baseball does at the All-Star Game,” Rowland said. “It has been very popular with our tournament bowlers.”
And while she will be volunteering, not bowling in the upcoming tournament, Weaver has had a recent highlight on the lanes, a 201 game – her first in more than three years.
“I don’t know how I did it, but it sure was nice,” she said with a smile.
Springfield Clark County Strike Out Cancer No-Tap Tournament
What: No-tap tournament dedicated to all cancer survivors and benefiting the Breast Cancer Endowment Fund of Clark County and the Springfield Regional Cancer Center Endowment Fund. Four divisions available based on averages.
When: Oct. 7-8, 14-15
Where: Victory Lanes, 1906 Commerce Circle, Springfield
Entry fee: $25
Info: Visit https://sccbowling.com/ for entry form