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A photo of Stacy White's parents, Mark and Pinky Orme, hangs in the yard just outside of her house. After her mother died of cancer at 49, Stacy and her father helped create a nonprofit called Pinky's Promise to help cover any costs that cancer patients like Pinky might accrue. Later, Mark would be diagnosed with cancer as well. He died at 53.
montgomery County, KY | mark and pinky orme

A Promise

by Addison LeBoutillier Fall 2021
Growing up, Mark and Pinky Orme were the prime example of what their children, Stacy and Clint, wanted to be. For the Ormes, their pride and joy is their horse farm, which has been in their family for over 40 years and has attracted national attention thanks to their incredible bloodline of Belgian Draft horses.
The Orme family has been tight knit for years.

“All of us live within a stone’s throw of each other,” Clint said. “If you head down the road here, you are bound to run into at least one of us.”

One night in 2011, Pinky began to experience terrible stomach pain. She was rushed to the hospital, where the staff ran several tests and scans. The result: Pinky had Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

She was taken to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center for emergency surgery and underwent more surgeries and treatments for the next several months.
During her time at Markey, Pinky saw all the various struggles that come with battling cancer. That’s when she made a promise to herself that she would try to help fellow cancer patients once she was fully recovered.

Pinky passed away 14 months later, but before her death, her family vowed to keep that promise for her.

The Ormes worked together to found Pinky’s Promise: a nonprofit foundation aimed to help cancer patients cover the costs of battling cancer.

“Even if it's something as simple as gas money, food, hotel rooms or otherwise, we didn’t want anyone to have to choose between their basic needs or their treatments,” Stacy said.

Pinky’s Promise has continued to support cancer patients within their community for nine years.

Clint Orme stands alongside one of the Belgian draft horses
Clint Orme stands alongside one of the Belgian Draft horses that he and his family have proudly raised. "These horses meant everything to my father, so I know that he's looking down and is proud of us that we continue that tradition even after he's gone," he said.
"[Mark] said that if he were to beat [cancer] then he’d be able to spend even more time with us, but if he lost, then he’d get to go be with Pinky since he still missed her every day."

Several years after helping to create Pinky’s Promise in his wife’s name, Mark was also diagnosed with cancer.

“When he first got diagnosed, of course it tore me to pieces,” Clint said. “But he told me that for him it was a win-win. He said that if he were to beat it, then he’d be able to spend even more time with us, but if he lost, then he’d get to go be with Pinky since he still missed her every day. So, he looked directly down the barrel of that gun with absolutely no fear. And he ended up losing that battle, but I know he’s happy to be back together with Mom.”

After Mark passed, he left the horses to his brother, Mike, and Clint.

“I know he’s still here,” Mike said. “People from all over the country come and tell us at horse shows how proud they are to see that we carry on that tradition. This bloodline meant everything to him.”