Final thank you and race update!
November 07, 2017
Why I'm running the 2017 New York Marathon for Team Bright Pink:
As many of you know, my cousin and dear friend Hannah was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in December 2014, at age 24. After a double mastectomy and radiation, she immediately looked forward and charged ahead with her life in DC. She started a Masters in Social Work, to help those battling long-term illness without access to the same care she was so fortunate to receive. A year and a half later, on a trip to Europe with her sister Caroline in the fall of 2016, Hannah found a lump in her armpit. Because of her history, Hannah sought care from her doctors immediately. In January of this year, we learned that Hannah's cancer was back.
Over the past seven months I have watched Hannah face eight rounds of chemotherapy, hair loss, the decision to freeze her eggs and shut down her ovaries, and surgery to remove all of the lymph nodes in her left arm. She has faced each hurdle with a grace and resilience that blew me away. Last Friday, on August 11th and just a few days after her last surgery, Hannah called me to tell me that after 2.5 years she was cancer free. It was the best news I've received in a long time.
I am running to celebrate Hannah's fight and the fact that she is now in remission. Hannah has become a role model to me in addition to a friend, sister, and cousin. While everyone who knows her has been inspired by Hannah's ability to shine bright throughout her battle with cancer, those qualities have left a particularly deep impression on me. Our lives run almost in parallel as mid 20 somethings, with one massive difference. Hannah has in part had her 20's snatched away from her by cancer, had to put many of her dreams and many parts of her life on hold. But where many of us, myself included, would struggle to accept and find joy in her shoes, Hannah has found strength, resilience, and compassion for others starting their journey through cancer treatment. I've watched nurses ask her to talk new patients through their first chemo session, because they know she will do so with kindness, empathy and understanding, without projecting her own experience, in a way that puts them at ease. I've watched her bravely share her journey publicly. I've watched her cry on tough days, but through the tears talk about how losing her hair doesn't matter, how she is lucky compared to so many.
I am running in support of Hannah's favorite breast cancer organization, Bright Pink, because in many ways Hannah IS lucky. Partly because we come from a family with a long history of breast and ovarian cancer, Hannah's cancer was caught early both times. Throughout her battle, she has had top notch medical care and supportive family and friends. Many women are not so lucky, making a battle with cancer doubley hard. As a result of her own experience, Hannah believes deeply that prevention and early detection are entirely critical in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer. I am running for Hannah's fight, for every woman who has fought against breast cancer, and for the chance to prevent that fight for young women in the future.
About Bright Pink:
Sadly, today's statistics tell us that one in eight women in America will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Bright Pink's mission is to improve access to healthcare information and education, which can save so many lives. It can be the difference between prevention and diagnosis, between stage 1 and stage 4, between life and death. Hannah believes that Bright Pink's work is instrumental in changing the future of breast cancer in America and I am so excited to support this amazing organization. For more information about Bright Pink, check out https://www.brightpink.org/ !
How you can support my campaign:
Your contributions will directly support Bright Pink's educational programs, focused on helping save lives through early detection and prevention. Bright Pink runs educational workshops, provides digital assessment tools, helps demystify genetic testing, and provides support for women considered high risk, among other high impact programs.
To help explain the impact your donation makes:
- A $50 donation helps teach 20 women better breast and ovarian health basics for prevention and early detection
- A $100 donation helps train a Women’s Health Provider to deliver better preventative care through risk assessment and management
My goal is to raise $5,000 to help Bright Pink expand their services and programs. I am so excited to run with Team Bright Pink in November, and am so grateful for any and all support. Any amount counts! THANK YOU in advance!
Thank you Hannah for inspiring all of us. I am so proud of you!