When my friend Laura Schaffner put out an invitation to join her in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk for breast cancer, something nudged me to do it. And when I mentioned it to Emily and Laura that I was thinking about doing it, it didn’t take them long to jump on board! We are excited to join Laura’s Fireballs to walk 60 miles in 3 days for breast cancer in Chicago September 16th -18th. George is planning to join us for the last day to walk 20 miles too although he hasn’t officially registered yet. Laura S. was diagnosed last summer and is currently going through radiation treatments after chemo and surgery. She has an amazingly positive attitude, faith and strength beyond what I could only hope to have if put in a similar situation.
Walking 60 miles in 3 days and raising almost $7000 between the 3 of us will be challenging, but not nearly as big of a challenge as those who have been diagnosed and have gone through treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer has been around me since my half-sister Joyce was first diagnosed in 1978. She is a 3-time survivor and I’ll be walking in her honor as well. My other half-sisters, Norma and Marlys, their mother, two aunts and a cousin lost their battles with breast cancer but some of them were able to participate in a study in the early 1990s when the BRCA gene was first discovered.
In addition, George’s mom, Sue, had breast cancer but through advances in detection, hers was caught early and she lived cancer-free for 6 years after surgery and radiation, and it wasn’t her cause of death. I’ll also be walking in memory of Mary, the wife of the best man in our wedding who lost her battle almost 16 years ago.
Because breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women at some time in their lives, I’ll be walking for all women—you, your daughters, granddaughters, grandmas, nieces, moms, wives and friends- to continue to advance the treatments and research so that someday there will be a cure. We’re getting team shirts made and will list the people on our backs for whom we are walking. If you’d like to add a name to honor or remember someone, please let me know! Thank you for your support!