Despite the cultural advances of the last few years, it still takes a particularly confident sort of man to put on anything even remotely resembling the color pink. But it’s a rare breed, indeed, who will don a pair of bright pink bunny slippers and wear them proudly in public. No doubt about it: Peter “Mr. Rabbit” Chambers is as spectacularly rare as they come.
Peter was between his fourth and fifth rounds of chemo when Christmas came along in 2011. As usual, he was doing his very best to put on a cheerful face for our family and friends and neighbors, but this was without question a really, really tough time for him. He had a wonderful pick-me-up on Christmas morning, though, when he opened a package from our sweet daughter, Chalese, and found the most wonderful pair of squishy pink bunny slippers inside. Peter has long been known for his love of anything rabbit-y, so the slippers were an instant hit.
On Wednesday morning, December 28th, Peter walked into the chemo infusion center with his bunny slippers in tow. As soon as he plopped down in his recliner, off came the shoes and the slippers went on – to the absolute delight of everyone in the room.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that an infusion center isn’t always the happiest place on the block. It’s more like a battlefield where, for some, the fight is nearly overwhelming. But there wasn’t a single one of those precious cancer patients and their saintly nurses who didn’t smile when they saw Peter’s amazing pink slippers. Their response was partly about the slippers themselves, but it was even more about the smiling, bouncy patient who was sporting them so delightedly. Peter and his pink bunnies brought some desperately needed sunshine into a place where cheerfulness is in pretty short supply.
As my sister Chris said so appropriately on Facebook, we hope the bunny slippers – our chemo slippers – will never have to be used again. That’s what TEAM PETER is all about: raising funds for the critical research that will lead to a cure for Peter and the tens of thousands of others like him.