EDINA, Minn – Just days before Thanksgiving 2014, Dave Dickey received a call from his wife while on a business trip.
"I remember feeling numb and not knowing what to do." Dave Dickey said.
The call was to say she was diagnosed with melanoma and doctors suggested operating right away.
“We live by the motto, play it as it lies and this is what hand we’ve been dealt and this is the shot we’ve got to take,” Dave said when referring to cancer treatment.
Following the surgery, treatments continued for more than a year. About two weeks ago, the cancer came back.
“It was hard to be strong,” said Katie Dickey, one of Ann’s daughters.
Emma Bonthius, a friend of Katie, 16, and Ann's other daughter, Elizabeth 14, felt she had to do something to show her support for her friends' mom.
On January 12th, she tweeted out a photo of her flexing her arm with the hashtag #FlexForAnn.
“I told my friends about it and it kind of spread through the whole school,” Bonthius said. “My classmates did it and even the principal did it too.”
After a few days, the hashtag gained hundreds of tweets and shares on Facebook with people showing their support.
A friend of the family asked Twins pitcher Glen Perkins to tweet out a photo. Former Packer and Vikings receiver Greg Jennings did the same. Arizona Cardinals receiver and Minnesota native Larry Fitzgerald did too. It made its way to Washington with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar using the hashtag.
"I think it’s amazing,” Ann’s 8-year-old son Josh said.
“How everyone knows about it. Wasn't there one from China?” Josh asked his dad.
Ann is currently recovering at the Mayo Clinic and her family expects her to come home Tuesday.
Dave and his kids try and read the messages to Ann as often as they can while she’s still in the hospital.
"They are little pieces of hope every night we're scrolling through them. It helps with our mental attitude and it definitely helps with healing," Dave said.
So Minnesota, and people across the nation, will continue to #FlexForAnn.