Today is bittersweet. On one hand, we are so excited for our upcoming Race for the Cure, but on the other hand we can’t help to remember the news we received on this day last year. On April 28, 2015, our Executive Director, Mary Alfrey passed away after being rediagnosed with breast cancer. As a staff, we found out about her diagnosis on the same day as the Race Office Opening and three days after the 2015 Race for the Cure she was gone. 21 Days.
At her very core, Mary was an optimist. Things were never as bad as they appeared and she always had nice things to say about each of us. She took her initial diagnosis of breast cancer in stride and used her experience to relate to other survivors. That’s why her passing was shocking and tough. Mary passed away from the very disease we work so hard to defeat. The truth of the situation that so many families face, was something that was unexpected and left us speechless.
The support that the Komen Ozark family received from so many people, some we had never met, was a true testament to Mary and the legacy that she left. It is so difficult to pick yourself up after a tragic loss, but we knew we owed it to, not only Mary and her family and friends, but to all of the women we have lost, those who were fighting their battle and to those who have yet to receive a diagnosis. We have so much work to do, that we had to take our experience and rally around raising more money to fund research, to make sure that ALL women receive quality breast health care and to support those going through treatment or have gone through treatment.
We miss Mary. She was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, friend and boss. She is a constant reminder to us that our work is not done and that what we do is relevant and important.
One year later…our commitment is just as strong.
Komen Ozark Team