VIPink Area Sponsor-Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas

Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas is our VIPink Area sponsor for the 2019 MORE THAN PINK Walk.  The VIPink area is a special place on our walk venue where only the Top Teams who have raised over $2,500 or more and individual fundraisers who have raised over $1,000 can enjoy!  The VIPink Area will have special giveaways, activities and delicious food and drink options for our special guests; including VIP porta potties!
Thank you again to our VIPink Area sponsor, Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. Read why Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas is a partner and about some of the services they provide throughout a survivor’s journey.

EARLY DETECTION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE, SAYS GRATEFUL SURVIVOR

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Less than a month after surgery to remove both breasts, Marty Brooks alternates between joking and speaking matter-of-factly about the journey she’s been on since a diagnosis of breast cancer in January. There are no tears and no regrets. She’s grateful early detection has set her on a path to spend many more years with her husband and five children.

She acknowledges there have been difficult days.

 “It’s overwhelming because you get this diagnosis and it’s like, ugh,” she said. Her care team hoped a lumpectomy would end her treatment. But after a second type of cancer was found, Marty was certain bilateral mastectomy would bring peace of mind.

“It was a hard decision. But talking it over with my husband, of course his biggest concern is that he wants me to be around for as long as I can be,” she said.

A family history of breast cancer meant Marty was vigilant about annual mammograms. Since turning 40, she went every year to the Mercy Breast Center for screening. In 2017, she skipped a year – just one of those things. Then in late 2018, the thought nagged at her that she needed to go in for a mammogram.

“God put in my mind to get my screening done. We can all say, ‘Oh, I don’t have time. I don’t want to do this. It’s painful. It’s embarrassing.’ But bottom line, unless you focus on prevention, it could be so much worse. I’m very blessed. I feel like we caught it very early,” she said.

She believes 3D technology now available likely made a difference for her, detecting cancer at an early and more treatable stage. She praised the team at the Mercy Breast Center, which offered what she called “seamless” navigation throughout her treatment. Dr. Andrea Placzek, Mercy radiologist, was “so intelligent, very supportive, understanding and compassionate,” Marty said.

Breast health navigators and even prosthetic fit specialists at Mercy’s Sisters Boutique have helped guide Marty through the process. Dr. James Irwin, the Mercy surgeon who performed Marty’s lumpectomy, called her to relate good news that her lymph nodes were free of cancer and the bad news that there was additional breast cancer.

Mercy’s care was thorough, right down to giving her the “Breast Cancer Treatment Handbook” by Judy Kneece, a resource Marty turned to regularly for information. A grant from Komen paid for copies of the handbook, part of a navigator’s salary and patient transportation over a year’s time.

Marty, now 52, has always been an advocate for mammograms. Now she’s even more vocal about encouraging those around her to get annual screenings.

“We live our lives not thinking about prevention because we think, ‘That’s not going to happen to me.’ But it can. The sooner you detect it, the easier the treatment and the better the cure,” she said.

She has some good role models. Two of her aunts had successful treatment for breast cancer and one is now 94 years old.

The Mercy Breast Center at 3101 S.E. 14th Street in Bentonville is committed to helping women with early detection by offering convenient ways to get a mammogram, especially through online scheduling. Mercy offers 3D technology exclusively, for more accurate detection for all women and those with dense breast tissue. Click here to hear Dr. Andrea Placzek talk about how how 3D mammography changes lives. For more information about the Mercy Breast Center and mammography, go to mercy.net/KomenMammogram

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Komen Ozark Announces the 2019-2020 Grant Recipients at Promise Circle Luncheon

2019-2020 Komen Ozark Grant Recipients

(Springdale, Arkansas)-The Ozark Affiliate of Susan G. Komen announced on Friday, March 15 at the Promise Circle Luncheon that it will grant $403,633 to fund 6 programs that will provide thousands of women and men with lifesaving breast health screening, education and treatment assistance throughout the next year. In addition to revealing the grant recipients, Komen Scholar Dr. Kathy Miller served as the Keynote Speaker and presented about her breast cancer research.  Dr. Miller focuses on testing new therapies for breast cancer patients through clinical trials. Dr. Miller’s Komen-funded grant studied a new treatment regimen for triple negative breast cancer patients.

Top Fundraising Teams, Top Corporate Teams, Top Friends/Family Teams and the Top 25 fundraising individuals from the 2018 Race for the Cure were also recognized. 

The Ozark Affiliate raises funds through events like the upcoming MORE THAN PINK Walk™, which will be held on April 27, 2019 at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall.   To register for the Walk, visit the website at www.komenozark.org.

Komen Ozark is one of more than 70 local Affiliates of the world’s largest breast cancer organization, working in communities across the U.S. to meet the most critical needs.  To help achieve Komen’s goal to reduce current breast cancer death by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026, Komen Affiliates fund innovative breast health projects that provide vitally needed breast cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services and support, including patient navigation, education and financial assistance.

The following programs have been selected for funding by the Ozark Affiliate.  Applicants were selected by an independent grant panel through a competitive application and review process.  For details about the Ozark Affiliate’s grant recipients, visit www.komenozark.org or call (479)750-7465.

Community Clinic (Awarded $90,000)

  • Serving Benton and Washington Counties
  • The “We Are Aware” program provides a culturally competent continuum of care for low-in­come, uninsured/underinsured patients in Northwest Arkansas through breast care education, screening, diagnostic and treatment support.

Madison County Health Coalition (Awarded $63,633)

  • Serving Madison County
  • The Madison County Health Coalition program provides a navigator to advocate for breast cancer patients and educate the community on breast health. The program also provides gas cards.

Mercy Foundation Fort Smith (Awarded $30,000)

  • Serving Sebastian and Crawford Counties
  • Provides educational outreach, navigation, screening, diagnostic and treatment funding for low income, uninsured or underinsured women and men, as well as, access to a mobile mammography unit.

North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education (Awarded $90,000)

  • Serving Boone, Carroll and Newton Counties
  • Provides comprehensive educational outreach and awareness campaigns to increase participation in breast health education classes, breast self-awareness training and access to treatment.  This program also provides screenings, diagnostic services, patient advocacy and transportation assistance.

Cox Health Foundation – Branson (Awarded $40,000)

  • Serving Stone and Taney Counties in Missouri
  • Provides access to breast care and cancer treatment for at-risk women by offering financial assistance for women in need of screening mammograms, diagnostic testing and transportation assistance.  A nurse navigator is also provided to help those diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their journey.

Washington Regional Cancer Support Home (Awarded $90,000)

  • Serving Washington and Benton Counties
  • Provides a breast health navigator and a bilingual navigator who offer specialized guidance and support to patients on their breast cancer journey.  The program guides patients through diagnosis, treatment and assistance to financial support resources as needed.
  • Also provides screenings, diagnostic services and treatment support.

About Susan G. Komen and Komen Ozark

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the U.S. government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease.  Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.  Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $988 million in research and provided more than $2.2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs.  Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide.  Komen was founded b Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.  Komen Ozark is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community.  Komen Ozark has invested $11 million in community health programs in 10 counties and has contributed nearly $3.75 million in research.  For more information, call (479) 750-PINK or visit http://www.komenozark.org.

Recognition of Survivors in the audience at the Promise Circle Luncheon
Komen Scholar, Dr. Kathey Miller with the Komen Ozark Team
Top Team Recognition goes to the “Stores and Clubs the Difference Makers.”
Top Fundraiser and Top Survivor Fundraiser, Marybeth Hays
Komen Scholar, Dr. Kathy Miller presents about her Komen funded research
Promise Circle Luncheon 2019

Donna Jo’s Story

My name is Donna Jo East and I am a breast cancer survivor! I was officially diagnosed on November 19, 2015, at the age of 44, with Stage 2b Triple Positive Invasive Ductal Cell Carcinoma. I went through five months of chemo, six weeks of radiation, three surgeries with one more still to go, and a year of Herceptin infusions. I feel so fortunate to have been one of the lucky ones to have made it through and to be able to call myself a survivor. Because of this, I feel so strongly about giving back by helping to fundraise, raise awareness, and support those still fighting and those who are yet to even know they will someday have to fight.

I remember so well the last Wednesday in October 2015. My daughter’s school, St. Boniface Catholic School, had done a “Pink Day” and a little fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. My daughter was all decked out in pink for the day and as I took her picture in front of the angel at school that morning, I had a strange feeling go through me. After I took her picture and sent her into school, I said a prayer for those that had been through breast cancer and went about my day with a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. At that time, I had been told my lump was nothing to worry about, but I was still waiting for my mammogram that was less than two weeks away. I will never forget that day and the feeling that I had. At that point, my cancer was the size of a small lime and I didn’t even know it. In just a little over three weeks from that day, my life and the lives of my husband and little girl, who was nine at the time, would forever be changed. We never know when we will wake up one day and our lives will be shattered by our own cancer diagnosis or that of a family member or friend. That is the reason I am so passionate about being a part of Komen and Paint the Park Pink. I feel it is my responsibility, as a survivor, to help prevent others from going through the same nightmare I had to go through. Just think, if everyone that was a survivor would get involved with raising awareness and fundraising, what a huge difference that would make! I have met a lot of people who just want to forget what they went through and some that are so bitter that this happened to them they don’t want to be in the vicinity of anything that reminds them of cancer. I choose to look at my battle with cancer differently. And I choose to make something good come of the nightmare that I endured. I am so proud to be a part of Komen for what they do locally in our communities and for what they do for research. After I was diagnosed, I had genetic testing done. I was found to have the ATM gene mutation which has been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. This rare mutation, along with several others, have been found because of groundbreaking research. Funding for research is crucial in the fight against breast cancer. Imagine where we would be had immunotherapies such as Herceptin not been discovered.

So I ask, especially if you are a survivor, please take a moment and think about what could happen if we all joined together for this great cause and consider being a part of Komen and Paint the Park Pink. Let us all give back to those who are fighting, raise awareness for those not knowing they will someday fight the cancer battle, and honor the memory of the beautifully brave souls that have been taken from us because of breast cancer.

Meet Ginger Brooks-Komen Ozark BigWig and 8 Year Survivor!

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Komen Ozark is proud to feature one of our BigWigs and Breast Cancer Survivor, Ginger Brooks!  Come cheer on Ginger and watch the other 9 BigWigs walk the runway at the Pink Ribbon Luncheon on Friday, October 2 from 11:30-1pm at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.  Tickets are still available at http://www.komenozark.org.

Ginger’s Story

A Mammogram saved my life!

You never know how you will react when you hear the words “You have cancer”.  I had thought about this before, and thought that I would not be able to handle it.  But on August 27th, 2007 (my son’s 11th birthday), I heard those words, and after shock and tears, we (my family and friends) put on our boxing gloves and went on to fight!

I had had mammograms before, and with dense breasts, I always got called back.  In 2007, I was late getting my mammogram appointment scheduled and my husband, Chris kept urging me to get it.  Well, they called me back for a second mammogram, and then back again for an ultra-sound, because the radiologist “didn’t like what he saw”.  Well, that turned out to be a Stage 1 diagnosis, caught early.

I had an MRI to ensure there was only 1 tumor and I was a great candidate for a lumpectomy.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get clear margins and went for a second lumpectomy 2 weeks later.  The pathology report showed that not only did I not have clear margins again, but a second tumor was found.  After much prayer and research, we decided that a double mastectomy was right for us.  We also research post treatment options, chemo, tamoxifen and determined, along with my doctors that 5 years of tamoxifen was right for me.  In 2014, I opted for a full hysterectomy to fully protect myself and starve the cancer out!

I have been cancer free 8 years now and feel very fortunate that we had great doctors, an observant radiologist, and very good medical coverage.  It is important to be a participant in your care, understand your diagnosis, and enlist your friends to help!  It takes an army of friends to help you and your family through the process.  I was fortunate to have family, friends and co-workers at my side through the entire time!

I am very passionate about everyone being screened, but not everyone has access to the care that I did and Komen helps fill that gap.  I am also passionate about finding a cure. I have a close friend who was diagnosed 2 weeks before me, she battled for over 5 years, but she lost that fight.   I also, have a younger sister and 9 year old niece, both will be watched carefully.  I pray that my niece will NEVER have to worry about battling this terrible disease.  So when I was asked to be an inaugural BigWig, I jumped at the chance!  I took my BigWig to Facebook and email, and literally around the world!  What a better way to spread the word, that we can save lives and find a cure!!!

Things to know:

  1. Get your mammogram and encourage your family and friends to do the same
  2. Be a participant in your care, know your diagnosis and understand your options
  3. Don’t go it alone. Your family and friends want to help, let them!
  4. Be gentle with yourself, recovery takes time
  5. Support Komen as they research for a cure!

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8 Things We Want Breast Cancer Survivors to Know Today

At Susan G. Komen, we celebrate those who have faced breast cancer every day of the year. But today, the 28th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, got us thinking about everyone who has ever had their world turned upside down by the words, “You have breast cancer.”

Here are eight things we want to make sure you know today, and every day:

1.    You Are Not Alone

In fact, you’re in the company of more than 3 million breast cancer survivors just in theKomen National Pic United States! And millions of family members and friends who have gone to appointments, cleaned, babysat, cooked, carpooled and so much more while their loved one faced breast cancer. Spread some love today to those who were by your side as you faced breast cancer, and if you start to feel discouraged, check out these powerful stories from women and men who have been right where you are.

2.    Life Is Different Now, and That’s OK

Breast cancer survivor and Executive Director of Komen Greater Atlanta, Cati Stone, said it best in one of our recent blogs: “People think it’s ‘life as usual’ after breast cancer. But it’s not.” You’re not the same person you once were. You may have a new appreciation for life or a surprising ability to not sweat the small stuff. You may also need time to recover physically and emotionally, so don’t feel like you have to jump back into all of your activities right away.

3.    That Lingering Fear…

… of a breast cancer recurrence is totally normal. After breast cancer treatment ends, many people are afraid they still have cancer or that it will come back. The truth is, breast cancer can recur at the original site, as well as spread to other parts of the body. That’s why it’s critical to visit your health care provider on a regular basis following treatment. There are also certain steps you can take to reduce your risk of a recurrence (#4).

Komen National Pic24.    Healthy Choices Go a Long Way

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise may help reduce your risk of a breast cancer recurrence. One analysis found that breast cancer survivors who got roughly three or more hours of moderate-paced walking a week had a 30 percent lower risk of death (from any cause) compared to less active survivors!

5.    For Many, Cancer is the New Reality

Women and men living with metastatic breast cancer don’t have the same treatment options as those who are diagnosed with early-stage disease. For many, the main goals of treatment are to control tumor growth and extend life, while trying not to compromise their quality of life. Metastatic patients need more: more support, more research, more awareness. To date, Komen has invested more than $133 million in over 350 research grants and clinical trials on metastatic breast cancer to understand the biology and find new treatments, while working with the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance and the Health of Women [HOW] Study to improve the lives of those with metastatic disease.

6.    There’s Always Something New to Learn

There’s a reason people say, “Knowledge is power.” By being thoroughly educated about your diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care, you can feel more in control of your life again. So, the next time you’re heading for an appointment with your physician, grab a pen and paper and consider asking some of these questions about survivorship.

7.    It’s OK to Ask for Help

Your journey with breast cancer may have brought with it a whirlwind of emotions – shock, fear, denial, sadness, anger. Thinking about insurance, finances or finding services can be overwhelming. That’s why there are programs and organizations that offer resources, support and guidance. And it’s OK to ask for help. Says one fellow survivor: “I learned that if I took a hand offered to me, there was no telling what gifts I would receive.”

8.    We Consider You Part of the Family

This organization was founded more than 30 years ago on a promise between two Survivors 2014sisters. That’s now the promise we make to you and to the world – to end breast cancer, forever. We’re working each and every day to fulfill that mission, in laboratories and in communities around the globe. And every time you lace up your sneakers to Race for the Cure (or put on a pink tie, or bake pink cupcakes or support our partners), you’re making that work possible. Learn how you can support Komen in your neighborhood and join us online to celebrate survivors today and every day!

 

 

And The Winner Is…

Team T-Shirt Winner 2015

The winner of the Terri’s T-shirt Contest at our Race for the Cure is Team Jennifer!  Jennifer Snow Bryant is a breast cancer survivor and the inspiration behind Team Jennifer.  We reached out to Jennifer to share her story.

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A little about my story…
I was diagnosed at 35 after finding a lump on my left breast.  My sons were 3 & 5 at the time. I was stage 1, grade 3. I had a double mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. I found out I have the brca 2 gene so I chose to have a hysterectomy to avoid ovarian cancer. I had capsular contracture (from radiation we believe) on my left side and didn’t heal well due to radiation. This also led to a strep b infection that made me very ill and resulted in removing my implant and later having the latissimus flap surgery. My journey started in October 2010 and ended (if it really ever ends) in November 2012.
Jennifer Snow Bryant
I can’t imagine taking this journey without the best Doctors, nurses, family and friends in my life. No one would obviously choose to go through anything like Breast Cancer but if they do, I wish everyone had the experience I had!

I would also like to add that my Delta Zeta big sis, Lori Walker, always helps me with the shirts. Her mom passed away from Breast Cancer so it was a cause close to her heart before I was diagnosed and now she is a huge supporter for me as well.

Jennifer Snow Bryant-3

Congratulations Team Jennifer on winning the Terri’s T-Shirt Contest!

*Each year, Komen Ozark hosts a Team T-shirt Contest to award the most popular t-shirt from the Race for the Cure.  Three years ago, we moved the Team T-Shirt Contest to social media with the winner being chosen through Facebook “likes.”  The last two years, Terri’s Troops have won the t-shirt contest and Komen Ozark has decided to name the contest in memory of Terri Walker, the driving force of Terri’s Troops. Terri was diagnosed with Stage 4 Triple Negative Breast Cancer on March 2012 and passed away on July 22, 2014. Terri was an inspiration to anyone who met her. She remained positive throughout all of her treatment.

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We’ve Come A Long Way Baby!

Blog-We've Come a long way baby

If you are “a woman of a certain age” you probably remember when the words “breast cancer” were always spoken (if they were spoken) in a whisper.

Did you know that in the early 1950’s, The New York Times refused to print an advertisement from a breast cancer support group? Editors objected to the use of both the word “breast” and the word “cancer”.

We hear that today and think “seriously?!”  We can think that because Komen has been the leading force in de-stigmatizing breast cancer. With conversation comes knowledge and with knowledge comes power and with power comes money and research and results. It all starts with awareness.

I am not sure I realized just how different my journey was from women of other generations until I chatted with my next-door neighbor Hope Deen.

Miss Hope turned 90 last year and she is my idol. (I am Southern and am slightly uncomfortable with calling her simply “Hope” in her presence so Miss Hope she is.)

Hope is so many kinds of fabulous that I cannot count them all. No matter what time of day I see her – announced or unannounced – she is fashionably attired (envision slim pants, crisp white dress shirts, cute flats and cheetah print accessories), with perfect hair / nails / makeup, and mentally sharper than I ever will be. Politics, fashion, celebrities, current events…she knows and has opinions on all of it. Hope FaceTimes on her iPad. Last we visited, she was planning a prank on her family. She was debating whether her Face Time disguise should be Barack Obama (she is a fervent Democrat), Sophia Loren, or Elvis – by wearing a mask she already owns.

I may have voted for the fabulous octogenarian Ms. Loren but I want to BE Hope Deen!

What I love most about Hope is that she will say exactly what she is thinking and half the time you never see it coming. For example, regarding a certain political scandal…”People just need to stop being so naïve!” (It was actually delightfully spicier than that but I can’t blog it here. Love her!)

This openness includes a wonderful willingness to tell her life stories. Hope noticed my pink ribbon car bling and we started chatting about breast cancer one day. She was so dismayed to learn I am a survivor (“but you’re too young!” – bless you Miss Hope). Then she told me her story.

Hope is the mother of three wonderful sons. When the boys were very little, she felt a lump in a breast and consulted her doctor. After referrals to specialists, Hope learned that the mass could indeed could be cancer. The standard of care at that time was to remove the lump under general anesthesia and biopsy it while the patient was still unconscious. If cancerous, a radical mastectomy would be performed and as Hope put it “my lady parts would be removed too.”

Miss Hope’s story of waking up and trying to determine if she was intact just stunned me. I knew breast cancer wasn’t spoken about much before the 1980’s, but I never followed that through…how the lack of awareness, low patient empowerment and limited scientific knowledge impacted the actual patient experience. Wow.

Yes dealing with breast cancer was hard, but I had the luxury of so many options for care (lumpectomy, single mastectomy, double mastectomy…if mastectomy, whether to reconstruct…and if so, how). I made my own decisions supported by doctors and other breast cancer professionals who, to a person, treated me with kindness and as a peer. They respected that I was educated about my disease. My own dad read every word in Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book. Thank you Susan G Komen for bringing breast cancer into the light!

Hope’s lump was benign…but the memory of that 50-plus-year-ago incident stayed with her. When she told me the story, she recalled every detail as if it were yesterday.

From fifty years ago to now to fifty years in the future…where will this journey take us? It’s up to us. My dream is that breast cancer will be taught in medical and history books right next to scurvy, and future generations of little girls will never grow up to associate their favorite color with a disease.

Let’s do everything we can this year to support the Race for the Cure with renewed purpose and urgency.

The cure IS out there. It’s past time we found it.

Marybeth

Marybeth Cornwell Head Shot Pink Jacket

*Our Guest Blogger, Marybeth Cornwell is the Honorary Survivor Chair for the 17th Annual Komen Ozark Race for the Cure.  Marybeth is the Senior Vice President of Home for Walmart United States and just celebrated her three year cancerversary.

Meet our Honorary Team New Balance Survivor- Tara Ingling!

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Meet our 2015 Honorary Team New Balance Survivor, Tara Ingling!  The Honorary Team New Balance was formed in 1995 to celebrate stories of survival.  For each Race for the Cure, the Affiliate has the opportunity to choose a local survivor to be a part of Honorary Team New Balance.  These members are honored for their personal perseverance against breast cancer and dedication to raising breast cancer awareness.

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Tara’s Story

I was 37 years old, had no family history of breast cancer, and NO risk factors. So why did a voice inside my head continue to tell me I needed to have a mammogram? I asked my OB/GYN for two years to order a baseline mammogram for me, but she felt it was not necessary.  Finally, the third year that voice was no longer a whisper so I decided I would not take no for an answer.

After several mammograms and a biopsy I was diagnosed with high grade DCIS (aggressive ductal  carcinoma in situ).  Luckily, my cancer was caught very early and considered to be stage 0 or 1.  The fact that I have two young children that need me around for a long time made my decision on how I wanted to treat this cancer pretty simple.  I wanted to do what gave me the best survival rate and what would help me to live my life without constantly worrying and looking over my shoulder.  I chose to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

With the support of my amazing husband, family, friends, and an incredible team of doctors, I am proud to say that as of March 21, 2015 I am a two year survivor.  There were certainly days that I asked God, “Why me?” But I have tried to turn that around and ask him, “What can I learn from this and how can I help others?” I began volunteering for Susan G. Komen and have met, and hopefully helped, several women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Along this journey I have met so many amazing and inspiring survivors as well as some women I will forever call my friends.

As a dear friend of mine once said, “We should all be so in love with each day.” If you take anything from my story, please live each day with a purpose and never forget to listen when God is speaking to you.

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“I Hate Cancer More Than I Hate Running!”

-I Hate Cancer More Than I Hate-Marybeth

I just finished with a training run!  I have that smug “uh-huh, I just worked out” feeling.

While I am decidedly one of the least authoritative resources, below are tips that got me to my first 5k (RFTC 2014) and to another one right before Thanksgiving.

Does the below sound like you?…

Not one of those gazelle-type gals with legs for days who thinks “why I wouldn’t dream of not logging at least 25 miles a week!”…

Coming out of winter (ahem) a bit heavier? (I’m lookin’ at you, Tamoxifen. Thanks for those last 10#)….well just remember that a little weight smooths a lot of the cellulite out so you actually look cuter running!

Plain old terrified to try?…

I. So. Get. This.

My fiancé is Mr. Marathon.  066

I kept my training a secret until we went on Spring Break last year and I had to confess what I was doing. (I am not exactly the hop up and exercise on vaca type. He was starting to get suspicious.) Rick was a HUGE training help (those breathing tips!) not to mention his all around wonderful encouragement. We finished the race hand in hand.

…Identify with the above?

Not a problem! You can do it!!!  Here are some tips and tricks that helped me:

A great training app:
-My personal favorite is “5k Runner” from Clear Sky Apps. At a speaking gig recently I heard some fellow survivors raving about the “Zombie, Run! 5k Training” app.

Hey, whatever works.

They are all about 8 week programs.

Whoops, you say you only have 4 weeks?  If you can run (or lope or stagger) for 5-8 minutes straight, you can start up somewhere in week 5 and be just fine.

Killer shoes:
-I’ve always been partial to New Balance (bless their hearts, they make narrows!) What do you know, they make the official Komen running shoes and some apparel too! Y’all, the shoes are awesome!

Great tunes:
-At the risk of embarrassing my almost-47-year old self in front of all the cute, hipster Millennials, here are some of my faves.

Load onto your phone, (the running apps work with players like iTunes) or a tiny player like an iPod Shuffle:

“Shambala” Rockapella
“Joy to the World” Three Dog Night
“Hey Ya” OutKast
“The Long Run” Eagles
“Hot Blooded” Foreigner
“We Will Rock You” Queen
“Don’t Stop” Fleetwood Mac
“ABC” Jackson 5
“Boogie Shoes” KC and the Sunshine Band
“Sweet Home Alabama” Lynyrd Skynyrd
“American Woman” Lenny Kravitz

That’s a sampling…I have 103 songs on the playlist. Oh, make that 104…I have to add Pharrell’s “Happy”!

Good music delivery:
-I love my in-ear Bose headphones from Sam’s Club. They have these silicone thingies that fit the inner curve of your ear (comes with three sizes) and prevent the buds from wiggling around or falling out.

Cute clothes:
-I decided last year, that no matter when or where I run, I will Pink It Up!

My favorites include (of course) Komen tees and anything from Walmart’s Danskin brand athletic line…performance is awesome and pink is always available!

I also love my Komen shoe laces that New Balance gave away at last year’s race.

Training pals:
-Train with friends, even if you do it virtually. My friend Jodi Foutch and I co-trained entirely by text for the Siloam Springs Turkey Trot last year. We traded inspiration, trash talked, and agonized together over our aging hips.

There is also a group of survivors that meets in Fayetteville to train and information about the group named The Buddy Project can be found here.  http://on.fb.me/1DfvCXn

Public commitment:
-Tell your friends, family and coworkers that you are training and get them to sponsor you!

Remember we need to raise one million dollars. Nothing like a little accountability to get you moving! It’s easy to ask 10 friends for $10, right?!

Keep your supporters updated via social media. (Yes, the training apps will do that too!)

The ultimate motivation:
-I read a quote on Pinterest recently that sums it up “Nothing will change until you decide it will.” Last year, I finally decided that I hated cancer more than I hated running. (That is a whole bunch).

Every time I want to quit on a training run, I think about seeing all those survivors at our annual RFTC picture. I think of our angel Georgia Sherrill, my BC mentor who was beloved by so many in our community. I think about my first shower after the double mastectomy when as a grown woman, my mother had to scrub me in the tub like the family dog!

I am grateful that I can run, if slowly and plenty jiggly…and I just keep going.

Survivors, you already kicked cancer. You’ve got this.

Supporters and co-survivors, your dedication inspires us!

See you at the race! (I’ll be the one in pink) 😉

Marybeth

Marybeth Cornwell Head Shot Pink Jacket

*Our Guest Blogger, Marybeth Cornwell is the Honorary Survivor Chair for the 17th Annual Komen Ozark Race for the Cure.  Marybeth is the Senior Vice President of Home for Walmart United States and just celebrated her three year cancerversary.

Culture of Counting

Marybeth

Have you ever noticed that people just don’t know what to say when you share that you are a breast cancer survivor? Or, maybe you are someone who has been in that situation, fumbling for the right words…I know I did before my breast cancer journey. 

When I started speaking publicly to share my experience, I decided it would be helpful educate others on what to say. 

The ideal conversation that I encourage goes something like this… 

“….and I’m a breast cancer survivor.”

“Wow! Thanks for sharing that with me. How many years?”

“Three!”

“Congratulations!”

…at which point most people share that someone important in their life also had a breast cancer journey. 

The next time you get info a similar conversation, I challenge you to take the next step and explain why we observe a culture of counting.

It’s because from the moment of diagnosis, breast cancer patients are locked in a battle with a diabolical disease. We are in it for life – literally. 

Komen has played a major role in improving the relative 5-year survival rate for early-stage cancers to 99% Unfortunately, with that accomplishment comes a misunderstanding by many that “we’ve got this…if you catch it early, it is a one-and-done disease.”

I was diagnosed at 43.  We need to advance the research so we are discussing 45 year survival rates. (My life’s goal is to be a sassy, fashion conscious 90-year old like my next-door neighbor…more about her in another blog.)

Breast cancer still has no cure. Let that motivate us as we Participate, Advocate, & Donate for the 1 in 8.

Off to train with my running app.  See you at the Race!

 Marybeth

#komenozark

Marybeth Cornwell Head Shot Pink Jacket

 

 

 

*Our Guest Blogger, Marybeth Cornwell is the Honorary Survivor Chair for the 17th Annual Komen Ozark Race for the Cure. Marybeth is the Senior Vice President of Home for Walmart United States and just celebrated her three year cancerversary.