Our founder, Tim Tinnin knows about the turmoil cancer can cause to a family. Shortly after his late wife Angie was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, treatment side effects began to take their toll. She said on a number of occasions, “I’ve lost my hair. I feel lousy, I look lousy, and I don’t even feel like a girl anymore. I just feel like cancer is all I am.” Shortly after she passed away, Tim realized it wasn’t just Angie that thought that way…it was universal with women going through the ravages of cancer treatment.
Tim took his 32-year career with the Missouri State Highway Patrol where he spent eight years on the state’s SWAT team as well as providing personal security for three of Missouri’s governors to identify a way to foster the Warrior Mindset within women and girls going through a cancer diagnosis. He learned that having the right mindset during life and death challenges is critical to survival and success. Creating a warrior, invincible, bulletproof mindset is as important in SWAT as it is for tackling cancer treatments. At Red Slipper Warrior Project, we focus on “going in HOT” and “warriors winning the day” as part of that equation, as well as knowing you’re never alone and have a team that supports you. We want to help you find that inner warrior mindset to be a better fighter because ‘Better Fighters Win More Often!”
The parallels between a SWAT mission and cancer treatment are so similar, which became obvious to Tim as he took on his role as co-patient with Angie. The stakes and the risk are both high, and in both situations, in order to be successful, one must be only focused on winning, regardless of prognosis. We’re going in hot…and we are winning.
The package that is given to our warriors contains items that were selected very intentionally. The red blingy sequined, super comfy slippers serve as a reminder that the warrior is still a girl and they are still beautiful, even while they are in the middle of a fight.
To emphasize the SWAT mindset, warriors are given a backpack styled go-bag. Every SWAT operator on the planet maintains a go-bag that generally has a weapon, ammunition, water, protein bars, etc...whatever you might need in case there is an emergency. Patients frequently take items to treatment to pass the time: a book, iPad, music. The Go-Bag, just like the slippers, serve as part of the ‘battle gear,’ which enhances the warrior mindset.
Each package that is sent to a Warrior includes Red Slipper Warrior Project™ slippers and a Red Slipper Warrior Project™ Go-Bag. Younger patients not only receive Red Slipper Warrior Project slippers, but they also get “Hope” – the Red Slipper Warrior Project™ stuffed lop eared bunny (wearing her Red Slippers!), to assure they are never alone, even during extended stays for treatment.
A bag is just a bag. Slippers are just slippers. Right up until they become symbols of empowerment.
So...What Makes Us Different?
In a word…empowerment.
Many other methods of support for cancer patients involve some level of distractions to take their mind off of what they are going through. Distractions are important, however, when the lights go out at the end of the day, and that woman or little girl is laying in her bed…alone…with just her and her thoughts, distractions don’t work. It’s at that point that you must have a bulletproof, warrior mindset.
Being a warrior doesn’t mean you don’t get knocked down…it just means you always get back up.
Warriors find their wins.
Warriors win the day.