Skip to content
aboveandbeyondcancer's profile image - click for profile

ABOVE & BEYOND CANCER's Fundraiser:

Susan Brown is going to Peru!

ABOVE & BEYOND CANCER's Photo

THE STORY:

For 33 years I have proudly worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist at Mercy-Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, Iowa. I am involved with directing and coordinating care for patients with heart attacks, heart failure, valve disorders and rhythm disturbances.  I considered myself healthy, physically fit and knowledgeable about health care in general. I was diligent with preventive visits and routine mammograms. I was aware that one in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer; however, I never expected to be one of those eight. Many women attest “they just knew something was wrong”, I was the opposite. I just knew my biopsy would be negative. I didn’t fit the profile. I was wrong. On October 15th, 2013, I was informed that I had breast cancer. 

I was immediately exposed to a new language: invasive ductal carcinoma, high grade, poorly differentiated, triple negative ---adjuvant chemotherapy, mastectomy vs. lumpectomy and radiation therapy. I was also advised to get genetic testing for BRCA 1 and 2 mutations. It was overwhelming, even with a health care background. I proceeded with dose dense chemotherapy every other week x 8. A repeat MRI showed the tumor had reduced in size from 3 cm to 1.3 cm. Following discussions with my surgeon, oncologist, and radiation oncologist (an amazing team), I had a lumpectomy on March 11th followed by 33 sessions of radiation.  I completed treatment June 13th, 2014.

I originally had difficulty using the word “cancer.” I just wanted to put “my big girl pants on” and get through the treatment. I did not want to be the cancer conversation or focus of pity. Lucky for me, I am surrounded by friends, coworkers and family that were patient and allowed me to come to terms in my own way. I am especially grateful for the cancer survivors that seemed to magically appear to share their stories, offer support, or just listen. No one else quite understands what it is like to experience chemo brain, metal mouth, numbness in feet and fingers, deterioration of your nails and to top it off ---loss of hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Though the side effects are all tolerable; it was helpful to hear from the survivors. Their stories were invaluable in my recovery.

I am in process of transformation. I know my treatment is not a cure and that I am at risk for recurrence. There will be long term surveillance and follow-up. I have a positive outlook and am confident I will integrate my new learning and experiences and focus on helping others. I vowed as soon as treatment was complete, I would get involved with raising awareness and serving as an advocate.

Two weeks later, I was notified that I was accepted to participate in the Above + Beyond Cancer journey along the Inca Trail in Peru. This is a mission to elevate the lives of those touched by cancer, to create a healthier world. This amazing trek consists of survivors, caregivers and advocates to bring light to cancer, mission and optimal health of body, mind and spirit. Machu Picchu was on my bucket list, and I am humbled to be able to journey with this amazing team.

As part of this mission, we are committed to fundraising for the organization and to sponsor our trip. Any contribution you can make to this cause would be greatly appreciated. I am so incredibly grateful to family, friends, coworkers, caregivers, survivors and advocates. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

DONATE

To This Fundraiser

$6,215

MONEY RAISED
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Dave Brown

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Hal James

    $100

  • NuSource Financial

    $150

  • Perry and Teresa Oliver

    $25

  • NORM ZIMMERMAN

    $20

  • Pat & Kay McNerney

    $100

  • Jerry Flatt

    $250

  • Mandy Corliss

    $250

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Steve Dallenbach

    $200

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Margie & George

    $35

  • Friend of Margie and George

    $100

  • Neil and Gena Januszewski

    $30

  • S. Yost ~ Friend of Margie Marshall

    $75

  • Gerrad & Carrie Clausen

    $100

  • Julie Younger

    $200

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Kathy Goetz

    $200

  • Bonita

    $150

  • Shakun Prasad

    $250

  • Praveen Prasad

    $250

  • Victoria and Mark Polich

    $200

  • Cathy Ehnen

    $25

  • Bridget Pargulski

    $75

  • taylor

    $95

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Patricia Cavanaugh

    $25

  • Kim Henrich

    $100

  • Deb Willyard

    $25

  • Paul & Jessica Kramer & family

    $15

  • Sandy Nicholson

    $100

  • Tom and Monica

    $500

  • Donna Kirby

    $50

  • Emily, Lori, and Payton Johnson

    $50

  • Sammi Brower

     

  • Eric, Tara and family

    $50

  • Gladys & Arthur Corliss

    $25

  • Jon & Jolene Runkel

    $100

  • Diane McILhon

    $25

  • Angela Schulte

    $100

  • Mike and Sandy Hall

    $50

  • Atul and Seema

    $1,000

  • Bobby and Tippy

    $150

  • Karyn & Jeff

    $50

  • warangkana chokesuwattanaskul

     

  • Lyle & Monica Stutzman

    $25

  • Elaine O

    $50

  • Jon & Nancy Turner

    $50

  • Mary Bosch

    $25

  • Sue Tierney

    $100

  • Ruth and Chuck Gassmann

    $50

  •  
  •  
  •  
 

124% Raised of $5,000 Goal

Fundraise for this Campaign

The Team: $6,215 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

JOIN THE TEAM
Fundraiser Title

ABOVE & BEYOND CANCER

Amount Raised

$5,840

 

117% Raised of $5,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Kathy Goetz

Amount Raised

$375

Donor Comments

Ruth and Chuck Gassmann

Ruth and Chuck Gassmann

DONATION: $50

4 years ago

Sue Tierney

Sue Tierney

DONATION: $100

4 years ago

Mary Bosch

Mary Bosch

DONATION: $25

I'd love to walk a mile in your shoes in Peru! Way to go! 4 years ago

Jon & Nancy Turner

Jon & Nancy Turner

DONATION: $50

Live the experience to the fullest for the rest of us! 4 years ago

Elaine O

Elaine O

DONATION: $50

Susan got me through nursing school at UMC.....love her and wish her the best!! 4 years ago

Lyle & Monica Stutzman

Lyle & Monica Stutzman

DONATION: $25

Way to go, Susan Brown! We will be thinking about you on this adventure! 4 years ago

Karyn & Jeff

Karyn & Jeff

DONATION: $50

4 years ago

Bobby and Tippy

Bobby and Tippy

DONATION: $150

4 years ago

Atul and Seema

Atul and Seema

DONATION: $1,000

Susan, You are a true inspiration. I admire you for your calm and resolve 4 years ago