I started doing the 3-Day in 2011, with no family history or personal experience with breast cancer. Over the course of six walks, that changed. I met women who were survivors, women who were in treatment, and unfortunately, women (and men) who died of breast cancer. Yet I still took a year off (2016), for a variety of reasons. Those excuses (that's what they were) disappeared in a flash on May 11, 2017... the day I was told I had breast cancer.
That day, I became a statistic. I was 1 in 8 (women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer). One of the 230,000 women diagnosed each year. Then I found out I did have a family history -- we just didn't know it. This tripled my odds of getting breast cancer, and more (ovarian and pancreatic cancers). After five years of walking to raise funds for breast cancer, I now had Stage IIIa breast cancer, which brought me a bilateral mastectomy, 20 weeks of chemo and six weeks of radiation.
I walked in San Diego last year, during my chemo treatments. I didn’t walk all 60, but I put a good dent in it (10-12 miles each day). I was honored to be a part of the Circle of Strength at opening and closing ceremonies. I have to go back this year. I need to walk all 60. I will walk as a Survivor, and gain strength from those who walk with me.
Thank you for your support ... your donations fund valuable research. Research that identifies better detection methods so women are diagnosed sooner. Research that evaluates effective treatment methods, so women don't live with the shadow of recurrence hanging over their head. Research that helps women with metastatic cancer live fuller, longer lives. You make a difference. And for that, I'm grateful.