Posts from the ‘Breast Cancer’ Category
November 27th, 2017
7 cities. 21 days. 420 miles.
That’s right, I’ve committed to raising breast cancer awareness and funding by walking in all seven of the 2018 Komen 3-Day events!
The 3-Day and Me
My involvement with the Komen organization began in 1997, but my first 3-Day event was in 2009 in Seattle. While the walk itself was hampered by an injury, the volunteer crew made such a strong impression on me that I decided to join them the following year in lieu of walking. Two days into the 2010 event, I realized how much I missed being a walker and joined a team headed to the San Diego 3-Day that same year. Since then, I have crewed in Seattle and walked in San Diego for a total of 14 events.
Over the years I’ve been inspired by the countless people I’ve met through the 3-Day, and in complete awe of the “seven-city walkers.” They train, fundraise, and spread breast health awareness by walking in Michigan, the Twin Cities, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Diego. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to join them.
The wonderful experience I had at the 2017 San Diego 3-Day solidified it for me: I am going to take on what promises to be an amazing journey in 2018.
Why this year?
- Breast cancer screening and treatment options have dramatically improved since my grandmother was diagnosed in 1962, but there are still many underserved communities that need access to compassionate breast health services.
- Komen has increased its investment in metastatic breast cancer research – more than $166 million in 400+ research grants and 40+ clinical trials to-date. I have friends living with MBC who need advancements in this area. Now.
- I’m nearing the age my mom and aunt were when they were diagnosed. I admit I’m a little superstitious about history repeating itself.
- I am fortunate to have a loving family, a supportive employer, and friends who encourage each other to take on challenges. The time for me to do this is now.
I need your help!
Walking all seven cities comes with the significant fundraising requirement of $16,100, but with your support I know can do this. Any amount is greatly appreciated!
p.s. I’m dusting off my blog and will be sharing updates on my training and progress throughout the year. Thanks for following along!
November 4th, 2013
I ran into Beth on the second day of the 2013 Seattle 3-Day walk, and was intrigued by the design of the tattoo on her shoulder blade. She told me it’s a Celtic motherhood knot in honor of her mother, drawn by her son.
I did a little research into the history of the knot, and learned that it’s a holy trinity knot symbolizing a parent and child embrace. It’s typically two hearts, one lower than the first, entwined in a continuous knot. I love how Beth’s son incorporated the pink ribbon into this design, honoring three generations of their family.
Beth had the tattoo done at Flaming Dragon Tattoo in Tacoma, Washington.
As a side note, these pink ink posts are exposing me to a lot of excellent tattoo shops in the Puget Sound region!
November 2nd, 2013
I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Seattle 3-Day Route Safety crew with Tom since 2010 (he rides a Harley). Tom’s wife Colleen is a six-year breast cancer survivor – she walked in 2009 before they both decided they wanted to be a part of the crew.
Their devotion to each other is obvious within minutes of first meeting them, and the pink ribbon tattoo on Tom’s forearm illustrates the depth of their love. The ribbon is flanked by their footprints (bear for him), walking side-by-side.
I love the rougher edges on the ribbon and I still get a little teary when I look at the footprints and imagine them going through Colleen’s cancer journey together.
I look forward to working on the Seattle 3-Day Route Safety crew with Tom again and supporting Colleen as she walks in 2014!
Help Colleen reach her fundraising goal early!
October 31st, 2013
I met Blanche at a fundraising event for Team Tracy this summer, but she’s member of The Pink Penguins 3-Day team (and former co-captain of top 3 team Hello Cupcake) She’s also good friends and teammates with Aubrey, whose hope tattoo was featured earlier this month.
Blanche turned 40 in 2004 and decided to walk in her first 3-Day that year, in part because she needed a new challenge and also because her Aunt Joey passed away from the disease. She was hooked. The 2013 Seattle walk was her 12th, and she’s trying crew for the first time at the San Diego 3-Day in November (“I wanted a new experience and my back and feet will be happy about that.”).
The pink ribbon butterfly was done in 2007 by Josh at House of Tattoo in Tacoma, Washington. She decided to add the flowers two years later, this time working with Slave to the Needle in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. I love the bright colors and subtle blue shading in the background!
It’s required for crew members, but Blanche has decided to raise money for the San Diego walk anyway. I look forward to seeing her smiling face in at the 3-Day in November!
October 13th, 2013
Interested in helping fight cancer?
Organizations focused on programs and services related to cancer are always happy to receive your financial donations, and they can’t survive without volunteers who give precious time. But there’s another way you can help combat cancer, one that typically takes little time and won’t cost you a penny.
Research studies investigate ways to prevent or diagnose cancer
Breast and ovarian cancer both run in my family. With breast cancer, monthly self exams and an annual mammogram should help catch the disease early if it were to develop. Ovarian cancer is another story: It rarely presents symptoms until later stages, resulting in fewer treatment options and higher mortality rates.
For the past six years I have been a participant in the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Screening Program (OCEDP), a collaboration between the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, Swedish Medical Center and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The study is investigating whether blood tests measuring the CA-125 protein and annual ultrasounds help detect ovarian cancer early in women with increased risk. A concurrent study, the Novel Markers trial, aims to find additional blood markers that might complement the CA-125 test.
By taking part in these studies, I am screened for ovarian cancer not once, but twice a year. And my participation will help researchers find ways to detect this form of cancer early. In fact, a recent post on the Fred Hutch blog highlights promising results from ovarian cancer screening trials!
Research study? Clinical trial? What’s the difference?
A research study is also known as a prevention trial. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) describes a cancer prevention trial as a study of a large group of people with the intent of finding better ways to prevent people from getting cancer, or lowering the chances that people will get it.
A treatment or clinical trial finds better ways to treat people who have already been diagnosed with cancer. Clinical trials are treatment-related trials that involve people, and are the final step in a long process that begins with laboratory research. Most cancer treatments used today are the result of past clinical trials.
Interested in becoming part of a study? The Puget Sound region is home to several research centers in need of volunteers:
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- University of Washington Medical Center
- Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research
- Pacific Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium
- Other Clinical Studies via US National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Please feel free to share any other studies looking for participants.