Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer. It doesn't matter who we are or what we do. It just seems to follow us everywhere. To be frank, I have lived my life pretty far removed from it. Truthfully, my main source of information on the subject has primarily been my mother. I am, thanks to her, diligent about my breast exams. I had my first mammogram last year (since I turned 40.) I do, however, seem to take for granted my health. Well, breast cancer officially hit my family through my aunt, and most recently, my cousin. I feel compelled to make some changes. My 42 year-old cousin passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2012. Kendra Kesselring Whittington battled the disease for 2 short years, continually beaming a bright smile throughout her journey. She lived in Illinois. I didn't know her. Yet I am extremely saddened and inspired by her and the way she chose to battle. Through Facebook, she shared her trials and tribulations, and praised her husband Scott, for being her "knight in shining armour."  Click here to read a moving tribute to her.

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2012*:
• About 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
• About 63,300 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
• About 39,510 women will die from breast cancer.

If you read one of my blogs from last year, you may recall my girlfriend Julie and her efforts toward fighting the disease. Julie has a family history of breast cancer, so-far-benign cysts of her own, and is considered at high-risk for contracting the disease that takes thousands of beautiful women from us every year. Well, Julie's 6-year-old daughter, Olivia, will be joining her in the fight on her 7th birthday this year. Please read below. I am having my Aunt Joan and my cousin Kendra's name added to Julie's swim cap.

"Hello Friends & Family,

One month from today, on June 2nd, Olivia's 7th birthday, she will join me in the pool to swim a "Mile for the Marys". We will be swimming to honor the memories of both Grandma Mary Canepa & Mary Simoni, two amazing women, who both lost their battles with cancer earlier this year.
Last year the support I received for my "Mile for Mary" campaign was incredible and I'm still so very grateful for the generous support I received from so many of you.
There is still work to be done and a cure for cancer must be found. Too many families, this year in particular, have been devastated by this deadly disease. Please help me in this fight.
Last year I filled my cap with "Angels", the names provided by my generous supporters. Olivia and I will be adorning our caps again this year with the names of people currently battling cancer, and those that have passed. Please let me know which angels to add to our caps after you've visited my secure donation website*:


Thank you for your support,
Julie & Olivia"

*American Cancer Society > Learn About Cancer
*donations to the Bay Area Breast Cancer Network are tax deductible

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