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Faces of Komen
Survivors, caregivers, donors, volunteers and researchers are just a few of the Many Faces of Komen. Their powerful stories give us the fortitude to carry on and inspire us to put an end to breast cancer forever.
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“People with cancer have great support systems through Komen. When you go through cancer, you need to have a great peace of mind. Komen was really able to contribute to that for me. Thank you, Komen for a great job. You continue to show how women and men can stick together.”
“The SMMART clinical trial is an incredible opportunity for the patients in Oregon and SW Washington to have access to an ability to characterize the patient and the tumor and how it changes overtime at a level that cannot be done anywhere else. Period.”
“This is my favorite run in Portland. I send her the t-shirts, she wears them in Brazil. It’s going to be an amazing, meaningful race for me this year. I’ll be running for my best friend and my champion, who is my mom.”
“If I find out someone has been diagnosed with breast cancer and they don’t have a dog, I tell them to get one. A dog is your best friend and cancer is not. Dogs don’t ask you how you’re feeling or comment on how you look. A dog will get you out of bed every day.”
“Do not take life for granted because you never know when something will change it so traumatically.”
“Don’t tell yourself I’m too young for cancer.”
“The way I look at it is that it’s a part of my journey.”
“What a huge relief it was for me and my family to know there’s assistance for some of the costs associated with traveling to Portland for chemotherapy treatments, surgery and checkups.”
“Not only should you take good care of yourself, but you should also try to surround yourself with a good support system”
“She had no choice but to step up, assess her situation, rely on the strengths of the people around her, make a plan, and reach her goals.”
“I think it’s so important for women who are also dealing with this disease to never give up hope and if someone tells you you have stage 4 cancer, it’s not necessarily a death sentence. Even though the statistics will give you these numbers that are not favorable, I will never give up hope. I will never consider myself in the 99%, I’m going to be in the 1% that survives.”
“I had enough fear of the disease that I didn’t ask about it.”
“Going through this journey I have realized how much relationships matter, and how important it is to connect with people no matter what.”
“Don’t hide it and let everybody know so you can be surrounded by love and care. You have so much more support.”
“Reach out to others in order to get the proper love and care that you need.”
“Participating in the Race for the Cure as a survivor was definitely an experience. There is just so much support. Breast cancer is a bad experience, but it makes it a little easier with an organization like Susan G. Komen Oregon and SW Washington.”
“I was 27 years old when I was diagnosed. I wasn’t even thinking about breast cancer.”
“I am so much stronger than I could have imagined, but that strength comes from my Lord. My faith is always what is going to get me through anything in life.”
“I have learned to be thankful for everything and every day I have. I want to be here for my family and kids, so I live life every day to its fullest.”
Jane is battling metastatic breast cancer herself and Joe – as husband and cancer researcher – is committed personally and professionally to developing durable and tolerable approaches to controlling the disease.
“I’m still learning. Cancer is a teacher. I’ve learned that I can endure what I thought was unimaginable. In that regard, it was very empowering.”
“Always keep a positive attitude because your body listens to your inner self.”
“It was horrible, in so many ways. But I have a new-found respect for life. I have more courage than I ever thought I could muster up and more strength than I thought possible. I have an incredible sense of pride. I love myself so much more now.”
“My sister’s breast cancer diagnosis saved both our lives.”
“It doesn’t really end after everything is done. You have to keep taking one day at a time.”
“Together we can fight this disease through Komen services and research. There has been solid progress made in our battle against breast cancer but there is more we can do.”
“The truth is I do love being an oncologist, a breast cancer oncologist, who spends most of the time caring for patients and the rest focusing on research, new drugs and new ideas to help make things better for people with all stages of breast cancer.”
“I am thankful for all of the hard work Komen has done to assure I would not have to say goodbye to my best friend and mom, the way my mom did.”
“When your family thinks you are going to die, it does give you a closeness that you wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“I was more to these people than I ever thought I was and that gave me more meaning to my own existence. I saw myself through their eyes.”
“You’ll find strength in places you didn’t think you had.”
Tami learned to look at things differently. She now notes the little things and pays attention to nature in a way she never did before.
“Listen to your intuition. If something keeps telling you it’s not right, then get it checked out.”
“I live my life with zest, make the most of every day, love with all of my heart and hope, for a longer, quality life with my family, and someday, a cure for each type of breast cancer.”
“If you doubt your doctors, it’s very easy to doubt yourself.”
Becky had such joy in her heart to be surrounded by positive energy and compassion. For the first-time ever, she took her scarf off and revealed her bald head. She was immediately greeted by hugs, high fives, and love.
Nancy missed a total of 10 weeks due to her surgeries, but she never had to take one day without pay because everyone she worked with donated their time to her.
“Don’t panic! Talk to people you know who have had breast cancer. Seek out a good medical team and get more than one opinion about your diagnosis and best course treatment.”
During her second week of radiation it became clear that Karen needed new tires, and she gives credit to Komen Oregon and sponsor Les Schwab Tire Centers who helped her buy new tires during her second week of radiation.
“We are one of the only groups looking at this cell layer. Markers that might indicate that this patient has the potential to go on and develop breast cancer.”
She created a blog about her breast cancer journey to keep friends and family aware of her appointments and results.
“One aspect of breast cancer that does not come to mind at first is how to continue your job after you have beaten the disease.”
“I always thought I was strong; I was the protector of my family. But I never knew how truly strong I was until I beat cancer.”
“Race for the Cure gave Nina so much energy.”
When they can’t physically be at Portland Race for the Cure, it doesn’t stop Michelle and her teammates, #CaplanWins. They register, fundraise, and even walk on the beach the day of the Race!
“My mom never thought, ‘why me?’ instead she decided she would not give the disease any energy and remained positive throughout the process.”
“I am forever thankful to the many donors who support Komen Oregon and SW Washington. Without you, my story would be very different.”
“Dogs do not see cancer. They are not judgmental. They do not care if you have hair or eyelashes, or if you are just sitting sipping soup.”
“My daughter found a lump on my chest, so I went to the doctor to learn I had breast cancer.”
“Do not let barriers of culture or language prevent you from being around for your family long term.”
As a 26-year old graduate student. Heather never imagined that the lump she detected would be cancer. But it was.
“My friends threw me a Ta-Ta to the Tatas Party! There isn’t any way that I could have gone through this without that kind of support.”
Once he was diagnosed with breast cancer Kelvin reached out to Komen Oregon so he could be involved in the Race for the Cure and share with other survivors.
“We are so quiet when talking about breast cancer in the Latino community. I try to bring up the conversation, so we can save more lives.”
“Through all of this, it has made me stronger, more loving, less worried about daily/life issues, more forgiving, and most importantly renewed and restored my faith beyond measures!”
“Mom, you can either beat it or you can let it beat you. And, I’m not going to let it beat you.”