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Michelle almost didn’t even go to her doctor’s appointment; it was a really busy time, and she had a perfectly normal mammogram just six months earlier. But with her family history of breast cancer, she went. It started out like any other appointment. She remembers vividly the look on her doctor’s face when in the middle of the conversation everything stopped and the doctor asked if she felt that too. The next day brought a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy. Her doctors advised her to have a double mastectomy. Michelle’s husband was out of the country at the time so the first call she made was to her close friend Becky Ewer who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 6 years earlier. Michelle says Becky was and still is an amazing resource.
Michelle relied on the support of her community of friends at the Jewish Center and her co-workers at Nike. Her family in Chicago and DC traveled back and forth to be there for her during her treatments. Michelle says that her husband was incredible. He took notes at all of her appointments and was great at sorting through all the processes. Michelle noted that she couldn’t imagine going through something like this without their support.
Michelle’s religion is an important part of her life, so during the years when the Race for the Cure conflicts with Rosh Hashanah, she helps plan an annual Holiday Retreat, ReJewvenation, to the Coast with other women of faith. When they can’t physically be at Portland Race for the Cure, it doesn’t stop Michelle and her Teammates, #CaplanWins, from registering, fundraising for Race for the Cure. When the Retreat falls on the same weekend as Race, her team registers as virtual participants and do their own walk on the beach at the retreat to show their support on the day of Race!
Listen to her full interview with K103 morning show host Janine Wolf.