Finding cures for cancer is especially close to my heart. In 2011, my brother, Cory was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma. Our dad was already a two-time survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, so we truly believed he would survive blood cancer too. When his treatment showed no signs of improvement, it was devastating. Cory died six years ago and I still miss him so much every single day.
Shortly after Cory’s diagnosis, I registered for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon with Team In Training and I did the same event the following year in his memory. My other brother, Damian is also involved with Team In Training and is now a coach. LLS has provided us the opportunity to play an important role in fighting blood cancer when otherwise feeling so helpless.
Fast forward to April 2018, I began my own battle with cancer – I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today, I am currently battling invasive ductile carcinoma but I have finished chemotherapy and should be done with radiation in a few weeks. Cancer is an ugly beast and has affected me and my family too many times. I want to help kill the beast.
The need to spread awareness is so urgent because too many people are still being diagnosed every day. And others are losing their brother, sister, child or parent to this awful disease. Most recently, my friend Sarah was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and she just received a bone marrow transplant from her sister - now she is cancer free. This weekend, I’ll be running with Team In Training in the Austin Half Marathon in honor of my brother, but also to (hopefully) celebrate better health post chemotherapy and a chance to be in the city where my friend lives.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested more than $1.3 billion in research to advance groundbreaking approaches and therapies in cancer treatment and their work is fueling significant scientific and medical breakthroughs in solid tumors and across the cancer landscape.
My experience fighting cancer has showed me who is most important in my life. The people who have rallied around me, some of them were people I didn’t expect to show up. I have seen utmost generosity in this journey. I’ve also learned that I need to take care of myself first and to put myself as a priority. I’ve also made more of a conscious decision to spend time and energy with the activities and people who make me happy.
Beating cancer is in our blood. Go team!