This year, I registered for the Komen Race for the Cure, as I have every year since 2009, because there is no organization more dear to my heart.
Two weeks after I lost my Mom in May, 2008 - I found a lump - the dreaded lump my Grandma Joy warned me about finding just weeks before breast cancer took her from us. I ran right to my Aunt Cathy's house (my Godmother & a Registered RN) and the look on her face told me 'this is going to be bad'.
I went to Dr. Blaum from Kingston, PA - most known for his surgeries for breast cancer. He scheduled me for a mammogram, even though you could feel the lump. Here I need to "thank" Blue Cross and Blue Shield for rejecting authorization for the mammogram because I was only 38 years old. That's when I was referred to Mrs. Dolly Woody and the NEPA KOMEN AFFILIATE - maybe they could help - and they did!! They paid for my mammogram because my insurance said I was too young.
My first biopsies were surgical - without the help of my friends Danielle Burke and Donna Hill I wouldn't have had rides to surgery. October of 2008, I went to a follow up appointment after the third biopsy and sat across from the Dr. Louis Blaum, completely alone, as he said those words (but I heard my Grandma's voice) "Mary, I'm so sorry to have to tell you - you have breast cancer.". He kept talking but I really don't know what he said.
I was fortunate and did catch my cancer in early stages, started on an oral chemo regimen, my Mom sent me my husband Jim to be the man who would be my rock through this disease and the heartbreak my personal life was going to take.
I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy in January of 2011 and the long, long road of reconstruction with my amazing plastic surgeon - Dr. Eric Blomain from Dunmore, PA (don't let anyone tell you that's easy!).
The NEPA KOMEN AFFILIATE supports cancer patients and survivors in 19 (yes I said 19!) counties in Pennsylvania -- Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne & Wyoming Counties. To put it into perspective how many people our NEPA AFFILIATE takes care of - there are 145 high schools in the NEPA territory!
We really need your help to be there for people in need in those 19 counties. There are thousands of other women and men that are in need of financial assistance with that first mammogram - just like I was.
Your support helps us get one step closer to a world without breast cancer. 75 percent of the money raised through the Race stays in the community to fund local breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs. The remaining 25 percent supports groundbreaking breast cancer research.
Will you please join me in this fight by making a donation today? Every single dollar makes a difference. A mammogram is approximately $100. If I can get $150 in donations of $5 each - I'll feel good knowing that I helped three people out there. Please click on the 'Donate Now' button below and please help with just a small donation.
My Nan Webb (great-grandma), Grandma Conlin & Grandma Joy all lost their battle with this horrible disease. I beat it because of research, treatments and surgeries that were not there for my Grandmas! I'm now 6 years cancer free.... but please, please help me make sure that my Kayla is safe from this dreaded disease. I don't ever want her to hear those dreaded words that I had to hear.
LET'S END BREAST CANCER TOGETHER!!!
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