This May 17th & 18th I will be participating in the Avon Walk for Cancer. I have joined the Men with Heart team. The Men With Heart team is a group of men that are committed to the Fight Against Breast Cancer. The mission of the Men With Heart team is to be stewards of the walk, helping our fellow walkers make it to the finish line in good spirits and shape. We standout by wearing the signature MWH yellow t-shirts; carry backpacks filled with supplies (chocolates, water, band-aids, sun-block, etc.) for walkers in need; and join in encouraging our fellow walkers to make it to the finish line.
I would like to tell you why this event is very important to me. Unfortunately, I have three women in my immediate family who have the challenge of fighting breast cancer. My step-mother JoAnne who was diagnosed with breast cancer had a double mastectomy has fortunately been in full remission for more than 5 years. My step-sister Michelle at the end of last year was diagnosed with breast cancer had a lumpectomy and just finished many radiation treatments and we all pray that her future test results come back with a clean bill of health.
My mom Rita Casey experienced her first battle of breast cancer back in the summer of 2011. It started with a small lump on one of her breast. After a full review, her oncology doctor recommended a mastectomy, followed by radiation and chemo therapy. My mom was cleared of all cancer in the spring of 2012. Then in December of 2013 my mom went on her first cruise to the Caribbean islands. Halfway through the cruise she started getting bad back pain. Advil and Ibuprofen offered no relief. She went right from the cruise ship to her doctorâ€™s office. No appointment needed for this lady, â€œlet me in, I need to see the doctor,â€ exclaimed my mother. My mom, as sweet as she looks, is a tough German woman from the Bronx who knows how to be a little loud when necessary. After a weekend of little relief from stronger medicine and realizing that she did not have a pulled muscle in her back, the doctor ordered an MRI and a CAT scan. The result of her test was that her cancer had come back and spread to her bones and liver. This is called stage 4 breast cancer or Metastatic cancer. At this point the cancer has attacked and weakened the bones in her spine where she has a fractured vertebrae (the cause of the back pain) in the T5 area of her back. This is the area just between the lower parts of your shoulder blades.
This news as you can imagine was very difficult for me and my family. The good news is that my mom is a super strong woman who is determined to win and live. Her positive attitude and willingness not to let this news get her down has been nothing short of inspirational. She gets up and goes to work, because she says â€œthe office would be lost without herâ€ and she absolutely loves the people she works with, always talks how blessed she is to work with such wonderful people. Thatâ€™s the good folks at the Putnam Independent Living Services in Carmel, NY.
The money I raise will help provide access to care for those who most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures. Iâ€™ll be just one of thousands of people who will walk up to 39.3 miles over two days, raising awareness and promoting education.
I canâ€™t do it without your help. Though Iâ€™m required to raise at least $1,800 to walk in the event, I plan to raise much more! I hope that I can count on your support.
You can make a donation right here on the website by clicking the â€œDonateâ€ button on this page. If you prefer to write a check, let me know and I can email or mail you the necessary information.
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Please mail your donation to:
Men With Heart, A Non-Profit Corporation
733 Turnpike Street, #200
North Andover, MA 01845
Please write on the check or on an accompanying note the following information:
Your name and address (if not already on the check)
Your email address (so we can send you a receipt)