(WAVE 3) — Every year on Oaks Day, horse racing fans cheer on breast cancer survivors who are honored during their annual trip around the track.
This year, the family and friends of Shantel Lanerie want to make sure her memory lives on.
Her daughter, 11-year-old Brittlyn Lanerie, sang the National Anthem at Keeneland a few days ago. She sang to honor her mother and all those affected by cancer.
“She was an awesome mom, and whatever she could do to help she would do,” said Brittlyn.
On Oaks Day 2018, Shantel, her husband, jockey Corey Lanerie, and their daughter Brittlyn led 144 survivors around the Churchill track.
“She was getting through it, everything was good, we thought,” Corey said.
Weeks after Oaks Day, Shantel died from stage one breast cancer after complications with chemotherapy.
“We never ever dreamed it would be us, and then the next moment, we were in that situation,” said Corey.
Every day, Shantel’s family and friends are channeling her grief into action.
The family’s longtime friend Rick Mocklin and his wife started the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit that helps cancer patients with basic needs, such as meals, transportation, and paying bills.
Her loved ones describe her as bright and beautiful, saying that Shantel continues to shine a light on the people she touched.