I am participating in AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer. It won’t be easy, but that’s why it's worth it. From now until AVON 39 weekend, I’ll train to strengthen my body to walk over 39 miles in two days. I’ll also be raising funds to crush breast cancer. This is where you come in.
I am required to raise at least $1,800 to EARN MY 39, but I plan to raise much, much more! I hope that I can count on your support!
Let’s begin with a story that starts in 1988…
She was 39 years old, working full-time, raising two girls, taking care of a dog, and handling a house with a spouse who traveled extensively. That summer there was a big PR campaign encouraging women to get a baseline mammogram when they turned 40 – the PR campaign was everywhere on TV and in print. So she made my appointment and got my baseline mammogram shortly after turning 40. The baseline mammogram indicated no areas of concern. So the busy life continued.
Six months later she was back in the doctor’s office to complete an anticipated uneventful annual physical. During the exam a lump was found that was not there six months before, a repeat mammogram was ordered. The results were not as good this time around. A golf ball size lump was discovered, a lumpectomy was completed. Ultimately it was identified as a cystosarcoma phyllodes, a rare predominantly benign tumor that occurs almost exclusively in the female breast and represents only about 1% of tumors in the breast, approximately 10% - 15% are malignant. Follow-up care required a mammogram every three months for three years, then every six months for two years, and finally once a year at the end of the five years.
Fast forward through 24 years of graduations, weddings, family vacations, grandchildren and many more adventures. Year after year a completed a yearly mammogram. Then, 2012 the story takes a turn…
A routine mammogram discovered another lump, a biopsy shortly after confirmed… cancer …infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Luckily it was stage one, the routine mammogram caught it early. The cancer had spread beyond its original location and into the surrounding tissue. A mastectomy was required. She will take oral cancer medication for the next five to ten years, follow-up with my oncologist every three months and then six months, and complete one CT scan every year.
This is our story. In 1988 my mom Kay was 39, my sister Terra was 11, and I was 6. Fortunately for our family genetic testing revealed that we do not carry any genes which place us at greater risk for breast cancer than the general population. Ultimately preventative care gave my mom her greatest advantage. My sister and I have since started yearly screening mammograms in our thirties given the family history.
I hope you will consider making a donation today. Donations can be made right here on my webpage by clicking the "Donate Now" button to the right. If you prefer to write a check, click the “Donate By Mail” button and follow the instructions on the form.
Your donations will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. The dollars you pledge will put food on the table of a breast cancer patient and her family. They will enable access to mammograms and medicine, fuel research, and save lives. Need any more reason to click that Donate Now button?
I’m walking with thousands of other 39ers. We’re banding together in solidarity and have one goal: to take breast cancer down. So many sisters and mothers and friends have been lost. We see a world without breast cancer for our daughters and nieces. AVON 39 is a force of change that can’t be stopped. By supporting me with a donation, you’re part of it.