In 1980, Susan G. Komen died after a three year battle with breast cancer. Susan’s younger sister Nancy promised Susan that she would find a way to speed up cancer research and find a way to stop breast cancer altogether. Nancy Brinker tells her story about how a sisters love started a global movement to end breast cancer in the book “PROMISE ME”. Nancy has honored her sister with a life long commitment to the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Locally the 17th Annual North West Ohio Komen Race For The Cure will honor Jeri Hoellrich and Gretchen Skeldon as well as a host of survivors. The race will be run “In Celebration” of Jeri Hoellrich who was diagnosed last year with breast cancer. Jeri is what one could call a caregiver through and through. At a time when most people would be concentrating on themselves and their own recovery Jeri is taking care of two parents who also have cancer. As if that were not “superwoman” work all on it’s own Jeri is also the principal of Anthony Wayne High School with approximately 1350 students in grades 9 – 12. She has continued working while receiving treatment. Jeri is proudest that she can be caregiver to her students and a loving daughter to her parents. Being a caregiver can give you strength you never knew you had and Jeri is proof of that.
The race will be run “In Memory” of Gretchen Skeldon who was told she would never have children after being diagnosed but then went on to have a beautiful baby girl named Lily. According to the Race for the Cure website “Gretchen never let her cancer define her, rather she accepted this challenge as part of her life’s journey and carried on with grace, passion and love. She was a beautiful, courageous, loving mother, wife, friend, sister, and daughter who made you feel like you were the only person in the world when you spoke with her.”
Women traditionally fill the role of caregiver within the family and their duties do not end just because they themselves also need care. The truth is most women diagnosed with breast cancer continue their roles as caregivers to their families and friends. Women have done this throughout the ages, forging onward when logic says it’s time to slow down. Caregivers often ignore their own well being in favor of those around them simply because there isn’t enough time in a day to do it all. If you have a woman in your life today who has cared for your family without fail, take the time today to remind her to do her monthly self breast examination and remind her how very important she is to you.
Jeri and Gretchen are caregivers to their families and to others diagnosed with cancer. Their stories continue to inspire others to live life to it’s fullest and to seize on those teaching moments. Gretchen shared her life until it’s end and through that other cancer patients became stronger. Jeri inspires teenagers by her daily commitment to them.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation offers a place, myKomen, where patients and survivors can find strength in each others stories, in their successes, in their mistakes and in their mourning. Here you can build a community of friends who understand and support you while you deal with breast cancer.
The Pink Tacks about the race itself:
When: September 26, 2010
- 8:00 am Survivors meet at 5/3 Field for photos, parade and information about the NEW Survivor tent.
- 8:15 am Opening Ceremonies
- 8:30 am Pink Parade (for Survivor’s)
- 9:30 am 5k run followed by 5k walk
- 10:00 am Fun walk
Where: The race is held in downtown Toledo. The starting line is at corner of Summit and Monroe.
Donations: You can donate to participants here, all you need is their name. General donations can be made here.
The 17th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure expects over 18,000 people to participate in the events this Sunday so make sure you come early to find parking and get the day started off on the right foot.
Please feel free to share your story of recovery and care giving in the comments section below.
Please click on the “Subscribe” button on the top of this page to keep up to date on Toledo care giving opportunities and stories in the Toledo area. Diana Watt can be contacted via email: [email protected]