NEWBERRY — Three years ago when Ruby Sheppard found out she had breast cancer, she never knew it would lead to her childhood dream of being on The Price is Right.
“When I was first diagnosed, I said ‘God, why me,’ now I say ‘God why not me.’ If I never got the cancer, I would have never been able to pay if forward to others and may never have been on The Price is Right,” she said.
During a trip to Savannah, Ga., Sheppard’s daughter, Shatarra Sheppard, showed her tickets for an October episode of The Price is Right for breast cancer awareness. Being a survivor and life-long fan of the show, Ruby Sheppard was all in to go.
However, their journey to The Price is Right did not start there.
“We were actually suppose to go last year. We had tickets, but Shatarra had a new job, and we were unable to go,” Sheppard said. “When this opportunity came up again, I just knew we had to go.”
So Sheppard and her daughters bought their tickets and flew out to Los Angeles for the Aug. 16 taping of the show. This time the family decided to get priority tickets, which put them in the front of the line for the game show.
Sheppard and her daughters arrived at the studio at 7 p.m. They all wore matching T-shirts saying how Sheppard was a survivor. When the studio started letting people inside, Sheppard began filling out the applications, bought souvenirs and took pictures with the wheel. The entire time she was inside, she never stopped showing her excitement.
“They started interviewing, and since we had priority tickets we were in the front. They then came up to me and asked if I was the survivor, I shouted ‘I am I am’,” Sheppard said. “He then asked where I was from and where I worked, I shouted Newberry, South Carolina, and Louis Rich Kraft. He then bowed down and said how much he loved our mac and cheese. The entire time I was so excited.”
After the interviewer walked away, the people around Sheppard told her she would definitely be on the show. However, that really did not matter to Sheppard and she was still excited. While Sheppard waited in line with the others, she began talking with other survivors.
“They told me their stories and I told them mine, some of them had stories worse than mine. It was a truly humbling experience to talk to them,” she said.
While Sheppard spoke with other survivors, an employee walked up to her and asked for a picture. The employee told Sheppard that her mom was also a survivor, and she loved the shirts Sheppard and her daughters were wearing. At the time Sheppard did not think anything of it, but then another employee asked for a picture of Sheppard.
“We were then taken into the audience and escorted to the third row from the front near the corner, and I thought that was odd,” she said. “At that time there were producers taking notes and watching people, I was just still excited and having fun. My daughters noticed they kept looking at me, and I just thought it was because I was excited.”
Before Sheppard knew it she heard those famous words, “Ruby Sheppard, Come on Down.” She began jumping up and down, her excitement showing more than ever. Soon after being called up, Sheppard was able to get on stage with Drew Carey.
“My fear was that I would be called up, but not get on stage. When I did get on the stage, I was just at ease because I made it,” she said.
When Sheppard got on the stage, the first thing she did was hug Carey. He then asked a little bit about her, and she told Cary and the audience how she was a three year breast cancer survivor.
At the moment, Sheppard is not allowed to discuss how far she made it or if she won anything. However, when her episode airs on Thursday, Oct. 1, she will have a big party at her house.
“I am just so excited, this has always been my dream. I always wanted to be on the Price is Right,” She said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.