Battling the terror of breast cancer is much like swimming upstream: you constantly feel the stresses pushing against your progress. It might seem easier to stop believing or lose hope. However, the Sauk Centre Girls Swim Team made it their personal mission to instill faith in breast cancer victims by hosting their fundraiser for NBCF.
Three years ago, Swim Team Coach James Schreiner’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. “The girls wanted to do something to raise awareness and honor her fight,” James said. “They call her ‘swim mom’ so needless to say my wife was very touched.” James’ wife wasn’t the only woman they honored. The Sauk Swim Team sought out other survivors in the community and recognized each during the meet. Each woman is called upon to stand up, and they each are presented a pink rose to honor their battle with breast cancer. “It is honestly one amazing night,” James recalls.
The Sauk Centre Girls Swim Team has made the event bigger and better in the last three years. Their biggest sell is the pink ribbons which are donated and printed for them by the local newspaper. People who donate get to write their name on the ribbon, and hundreds of them are then hung outside the entrance to the fan’s balcony on the day of the swim meet. Pink swim caps and pink t-shirts are worn all over the natatorium show pride and support. To top it all off, they have a “chuck-a-duck” contest. Advertised all throughout the school, the contest requires you to pay an entry fee to throw one of the rubber ducks into a buoy in the pool. “The winner gets 50% and NBCF receives the other 50%, but without fail, the winner always donates their prize as well,” James notes.
Coach James insists the night is more than just about raising money for awareness. It is also about being able to “teach the girls a lesson that will last way beyond their years in the water and their years in school.” This past year, the team was able to raise over $6,500 in just one swim meet! Furthermore, they were able to give honor to many women of their community who have been affected by breast cancer. The Sauk Centre girls are already excited about this year as they give more women hope to tread breast cancer’s tough waters.
It is the start of a new year and a perfect time to make a healthy change. How about changing your diet to make it healthier and anti-carcinogenic?According to WebMD, “Mounting evidence shows that the foods we eat weigh heavily in the war against cancer.”
What are carcinogens?
According to Melissa Breyer, the author of True Food, some of the top foods and drinks, which may increase your risk of cancer, include:
Charred or burnt foods
Alcohol in excess
One easy first step is to pick one or two items from this list to cut back on. Once that becomes natural, cut back on another. Small steps are more effective than taking on too much at once.
What are anticarcinogens?
Now that you know what to avoid, here are some of the top anti-carcinogenic foods that can help fight cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts
Focus on swapping some of the first list for some of the second.Healthy foods may not be a cure for cancer, but they certainly aid in boosting your immunity and give your body a natural defense to disease.
Written by Jody Feil, NBCF Wellness Specialist *The views expressed in “Living Well with Jody” are Jody’s personal opinions based on her passion for healthy nutrition and fitness.
Jack, Dan, John and Roger were planning a serious road trip. Multiple states. Cross-country, even. Then they thought, with all this effort going into the road trip, why not have it benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation?
The Name: Rollin’ 4 Cancer
The Mission: One limo, 2 weeks, 4 guys, 6 states, 12 cities, 5000 miles to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The Journey: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana.
The Destination: The Super Bowl!
But wait, they don’t have tickets. Why would four guys drive across the country to the city where the Super Bowl is being hosted and not actually go to the Super Bowl? Because with their decked-out limo and charismatic demeanors, that was the best place to raise funds and awareness - in front of an audience of thousands.
Along the way, they’ve gained the attention of the press, spoken on radio shows, and even started a Facebook page to chronicle their journey.
In Memory of Sue, The Grand Dame of Badger & Blade
Sue crafted homemade soaps and received an unusual request from a friend to create a men’s shave soap one day. That single request resulted in her launching her own company of homemade shave soaps and scents, Saint Charles Shave. She joined the online community, Badger and Blade (B&B), to chat with others about shaving products, and soon became a strong voice in the community, gaining the support and friendship of many.
Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2010. Because of her close ties to the B&B community, she posted about her illness soon after her diagnosis.
Take a Deep Breath & Then Walk Into the Fire
That’s what he did. My dad shaped my life. He instilled his values, compassion and most of all his courage. As a career firefighter he chose to willingly go into burning buldings.
The previous week began with being put to the test. Can I walk a firery cancer road and walk back out?
Last Monday morning (2/15), I found the dreaded lump. It wasn’t there Sunday. A classic symptom for IBC, a lump that seemingly appears overnight. It doesn’t show up early on mammogram but that’s another subject.
The next morning, I was in the office of my internest. From his office I was sent for a mammogram and then a ultrasound.
Wednesday was numerous phone calls.
Thursday more doctor appointments and testing. Result: Wait for the entire weekend.
It was the longest weekend I can remember. Even with the love and support of my adult children, brothers, family and friends that are also my family, the minutes ticked by slowly like hours.
That I was alone beat me up worse than if someone had taken a 2x4 or baseball bat and beat me with it. I spent the weekend keeping as busy as I could in my shop, doing what I love, making product.
With the long weekend wait behind me, my doctor called with the results of the breast/lymph node biopsies: positive for malignancy.
Today was a full body bone scan with contrast and a full body CT also with contrast to look for involvement elsewhere.
This Thursday afternooon, I will know the remainer of the treatment plan which now includes mastectomy and removal of at least 4 lymph nodes.
Chemo, radiation, either one or both, are still undecided until full results of the above and two other test relults are known.
How am I doing? I am still reeling, my mind running redline rpm’s. I think often I wish I could cry in the arms of my husband. I’m not a wimp, I can do this; I tell myself. My faith is strong as ever. I will wake up tomorrow and take on the day. I will take each day as it comes and I will deal with it, one step at a time.
I regret the emotional pain this is causing in those that love me. I hope those that I love, know the depth of the love I have for them.
There are some that I love that I am unable to tell them for fear of being inappropriate. I hope they know how much they mean to me, and yes, love.
I pray that I will keep my faith and courage strong. In my mind and heart, I am holding both the hand of God in one hand and my dad’s hand in the other.
The B&B community responded with hundreds of comments in support of Sue. She and her daughter posted updates of her progress as she went through treatment.
On November 2, Sue passed away. But her spirit will forever live on in the B&B community. As one B&B member stated, “Badger and Blade will not be the same when our grand dame takes her final bow, but she will not be forgotten. Not by me nor by many gents who’ve had the privilege of knowing Sue.”
5-Year Breast Cancer Survivor Runs Half Marathon for NBCF
In 2007, Alison was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Hearing the words, you have cancer is super scary, your life changes in an instant. With the huge support from my family, friends, colleagues, and my rock of a husband – Sam, I got through the most challenging nine months of my life. I was fortunate enough to be able to continue work, which gave me some kind of normality. I lost my hair and eyebrows, which was an experience in itself.
This year, Alison celebrates her fifth year as a breast cancer survivor and being cancer-free. And she decided to celebrate in an unusual way - she signed up for the Pennsylvania half-marathon on October 21st and raised funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
With her two best friends by her side, she completed the half marathon and was able to help raise awareness for breast cancer and exceeded her fundraising goal! That’s a lot of accomplishments to celebrate!
We first joined forces with Convoy of Hope last May, with our first event appropriately occurring in our home city of Dallas, Texas. Since then, we have joined Convoy of Hope for outreaches in eight other cities across the country to bring breast health services to underserved women in local communities. Through each of these outreaches, we were amazed by the volunteers who served so passionately, touched by the stories of the women we were serving, and empowered by the need that was so apparent for the services we were providing.
One of the guests that stopped by our tent, Sherylynn, had been putting off getting a mammogram because she was scared to go to the doctor’s office. She pre-qualified for a free mammogram through our partner breast health facility that day.
Through these outreaches, we offered free educational materials, signed women up to receive early detection text reminders, showed women how to do breast self-exams, pre-qualified women for free mammograms through our partner breast health facilities and, in some locations, provided free mammograms through our facility partners’ mammovans.
“I’m a single mom and needed to get groceries. I didn’t realize the NBCF tent was going to be here. I just signed up to receive qualification for a mammogram. This will help me so much. I am overwhelmed by how much is here, not just for my kids but also for me!”
- Crystal, Convoy of Hope guest
Here’s a look at our 2012 Convoy of Hope outreaches by the numbers:
5,157 guests served
442 pre-qualified for free mammograms through our partner breast health facilities
42 screening mammograms on-site
3,475 signed up for the NBCF early detection plan to receive text reminders
3,313 received training on how to do a breast self exam
18,010 educational materials distributed
Thank you for helping us serve these women in partnership with Convoy of Hope this year! We are looking forward to our next outreach in 2013!
Diana was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and found out that she would be undergoing chemotherapy and her hair would fall out. Not one to wait for her hair to fall out, Diana took control and held a Head-Shaving Party to shave her head and raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. And for each every $200 raised, one of Diana’s friends or family would shave their heads in her honor.
At the end of the night, there were a lot of bald heads!
Christine is like many busy moms with a hundred things on her to-do list. She has two small children to take care of, errands to run and dinner to cook. So when she turned 40 and her doctor told her it was time for her routine mammogram, she put it off because of her busy schedule, figuring she’d get around to it eventually.
A year later, Christine noticed a lump in her breast. She had no insurance and thought maybe she could save up enough money to get a mamogram later. Her friend urged her to go to St. Vincent’s Medical Center and talk to them about her options.
"The first thing they told me at St. Vincent’s was that the mammogram would be taken care of. I had no excuse to put it off. Within a half an hour, I had an appointment."
Through a grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, St. Vincent’s was able to provide Christine the mammogram she needed. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.
“I will never forget the feeling I got when I heard the news that my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a helpless feeling and one that I wouldn’t wish upon anybody. My younger sister Rebecca and I have grown up having the best big sister anybody could ask for. Hollis is the nicest and most loving person that I know. I couldn’t think of anything I could do for my sister to fix this situation we have been forced to deal with so I decided to commit to running a race in Hollis’ name.”
- Rawson Livezy
Inspired by Hollis, Rawson and Rebecca, friends and family joined the fundraiser, even creating bracelets with “Holliboo Is My Hero” and “For K-Peasey” in honor of Hollis.
And Rawson won’t be running alone. The Run for Hollis team will have over 65 runners in the October 2012 Atlanta half-marathon.