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Another Sunday in Arizona

Well, Ladies and Gents, glad to say we have had fabulous temperatures in the 70 and 80 range for the last couple days in Phoenix, it is glorious!  Back into the 90's this week however, but the brief respite gives us a whole new outlook and the knowledge that fall is Here! 

Since we are in the month of October and still PINK all over, I wanted to share more of my story with you.......................

As you read previously, My Grandmother, my Great Aunt and her daughter, my cousin,
all passed away from breast cancer.



Above you see my Mom and my sister, both survivors!  
 
 
 
Mom was 57 when diagnosed and my sister, Lynette a very young 39 years of age.   As you may know, younger women often are attacked by very aggressive cancer.   I am happy to tell you that Lynette is fine and living a good life.   She deals with a bit of lymphadema after her double mastectomy and reconstruction but otherwise FINE.    It's been 11 years now! 

Mom is now 82 and doing great, she drives to the store and lives in our big family home, still going up and down the stairs and gardening some. 

Close to the same time my sister was diagnosed I got a call from my very best friend from childhood.
She had been diagnosed as well.   To understand BC, you learn that there are so many types and forms.  Patty's was taken care of with a lumpectomy and was estrogen driven, she had no lymph involvement.   I felt like there was this cloud of cancer, that horrible word, that terrible diagnosis, it was overwhelming.   Sadness and confusion were all around.

The diagnosis of those young and so close made me aware that I needed to do something very substantial to make a difference.   I had Raced for the Cure once in honor of my Mom and BUT now it was even that much closer.   I called and joined the Race for the Cure Committee in PHX.   I served on the Committee as a Volunteer Committee Chair 4 years for the Operation of the Race, which included creating the "Village" where all the vendors hand out the wonderful goodies, distributing all the race applications and providing a team to hand out the Race shirts.
  
As I would look out & see a very young woman in a pink shirt,  I was brought to tears, and I still am.

 

In 2005, I was honored to be invited as the Race Chairperson and I have never been so humbled to serve in any volunteer position.  We raised well over one million dollars in PHX, had 43,000 + participants and for the first time offered Race Posters and applications in Spanish.    We attended Health Fairs on the Indian Reservations and provided shower cards to community clinics.   This was so rewarding and every minute of the time I told as many people who would listen about Stella, Pauline, Loretta, Doris, Lynette and Patty.    On the day of the Race, I climbed the stairs to the start line podium above the crowd and looked out to see the streets of Phoenix FILLED with pink & while shirts, it was an amazing sight!  43,000 STRONG!   To this day I get goosebumps when I think of it! 
I have retained many friendships from my involvement and often meet up with people I consider to be Heros who endured the perils of cancer and still smile, laugh and continue to fight for others.   Here's to the Volunteers, the workers, the dedicated people who strive to find a cure - Keep Going!



As of today, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed,
I have 6 very close to me who have been affected.  
I have a daughter and a granddaughter and I know we must find a cure as soon as possible.

Do your self exams, encourage your daughters and granddaughters to do the same.  And yes, the men in your life need to be aware of body changes, as they are not exempt. 
 

Comments

  1. What a legacy. So sorry for your loss and closeness to this disease. My twin sister is a survivor as well. Thank God for that. Bless you for your volunteer work and bringing more awareness. I hope we can stop this disease in it's tracks and soon!
    Lena

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a wonderfully touching and moving story Jean. My family has been spared from Breast Cancer so far, but bowel cancer has taken its toll and I have a close friend who has been affected by cancer losing her husband last November, and one month later her 2yr old grand daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia. In the past year she has lost two other family members and another friend to cancer. I applaud you for all the wonderful work you have done to promote awareness and raise funds for a cure! Let's hope they find a cure for all cancers soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry to hear of your loss. Jean the world needs more people like you... THANK YOU so much for all you do to spread the message. It is so important that we all men and women listen to your message.

    ReplyDelete

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