Just over a year ago, my good friend, Carrie Malicki, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Carrie is my age, and has two young boys. She had no risk factors, yet still, there was a triple negative lump in her breast. Luckily, doctors were able to remove the lump, and through chemo and radiation, there is no active cancer in her body as of right now. She lives with the reality that at any time, the cancer could return. Six short weeks after Carrie was diagnosed, her mom, Peg Traeder, was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Hers was completely different than Carrie’s. She opted to do a double masectomy, and is still in the process of reconstruction. These two women have made it their mission to be advocates for breast cancer research and education.
Last summer, a few days after our wedding, we found out that my husband’s grandma had been diagnosed with both breast cancer and colon cancer the same week. Her diagnosis came the week before the wedding, but she didn’t want us to know until after our special day. I admire her for keeping such a secret for that week. Rosie underwent surgery to remove the cancer from both parts of her body, and doctors are sure they got it all. She also had radiation therapy for her breast cancer.
As I started training for last years’ 3 Day event, I thought about all the people I knew who were touched by breast cancer. My husband’s uncle’s girlfriend, Brigitte; her sister, Debbie, who I never met, as she lost her battle a few years back; my friend Holli, who I used to sell Partylite with; my friend Sherri, from the dance studio; my best friend’s aunt Jodelle, who lost her battle several years back; a family friend of my ex’s, Kathy, who lost her battle’ leaving behind two young children. That list is too long!
I want to join the fight once again for all the women I know who are fighting their own battles! While I don’t personally know any men who have had breast cancer, it is possible for men to get it too. In fact, one of the members of the youth corps from last year had lost their grandpa (I think) to breast cancer. I walk because “Everyone deserves a lifetime.”
If you’d like to contribute to my 2012 fundraising efforts, please visit my fundraising page.