Pink ribbons and hearts
Waxahachie resident Dinah Weable knows from her own experience that when life gives you a lemon, you make lemonade.
At the age of 64, Weable heard the dreaded words, “You have breast cancer.”
She sought treatment from Dr. Sally Knox, who was active in a nonprofit, the Bridge Breast Network in Dallas. She had the surgery and completely recovered without chemotherapy or radiation.
“I’ll never forget the lesson Dr. Knox taught me after surgery,” Weable said. “It was the next day and I was in pain. She brought me a pink rose and took my left arm and lifted it up. It hurt but she taught me that I was going to be a survivor and that the disease wasn’t going to conquer our lives.”
Impressed by a luncheon held in Dallas that celebrated breast cancer survivorship, Weable and her husband, Ray, realized they needed something similar in Waxahachie.
From this idea, the Dinah Weable Foundation was formed and, ultimately, began a mission of providing free mammograms to uninsured women in Ellis County. To this day, the foundation makes a yearly contribution to the Baylor Scott & White Foundation, which administers the funds. To date, hundreds of women and men have received mammograms and lives have been saved.
“Ray doesn’t get the accolades he deserves but he didn’t do it just for me, he wanted to help others too,” Weable said, describing him as the driving force behind the foundation’s founding.
After funding the foundation out of their own pocket for two years, the Weables solicited help in 2006. They were joined by several other couples to form a committee, with efforts continuing to grow over the years. On an annual basis, the foundation has funded more than 100 mammograms since 2007. Funds from the Pink Ribbons and Hearts reception, private and business donations and the sale of T-shirts by the Waxahachie Fire Fighters Association help sustain the organization. In 2018, the Weables turned over the reins to Cindy Smith, who is also a breast cancer survivor.
Devout Christians, the Weables are members of First United Methodist Church. They believe that God has worked through them to accomplish the foundation’s work.
“We met a need and we were able to answer,” Weable said. “I know God is in control and we are thankful we were able to meet that need and that God was behind it.”
She is a 1959 graduate of Camden High School in Camden, Arkansas, where she and Ray became high school sweethearts. The couple landed in Waxahachie in 1985 after living in different states due to his job. Weable worked as an administrator for the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce before serving as district manager for state Rep. Jim Pitts.
The Weables have three grown children. Rhonda and husband Dave Simorka live in St. Louis, Laura and her husband Everett Geis live in Monroe, Louisiana, and son Kevin and wife Cheyenne Weable live in Rockwall. They have nine grandchildren, two of whom were adopted from Vietnam, and four great-grandchildren with another on the way.
The Weables celebrate 60 years of marriage in December.