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Tracy & Jessica Oliver
The impact of breast cancer doesn’t start and stop with the person diagnosed with the disease; Jody, Tracy, and Jessica Oliver – Three generations who fought, and continue to take action against breast cancer.
Tracy lost her mom, Jody, to breast cancer when she was only 15 years old. Jody battled breast cancer for five years, and ultimately lost the fight at age 48. Tracy’s family was living in a small town in Eastern Oregon at the time, and she recalls her mom frequently driving 2 hours one way to Walla Walla for her Radiation treatments. “When the radiation didn’t work, she tried many other ‘miracle drugs,’ some that were FDA approved and some that were not. I wish she could have had all the resources that are available today,” Tracy remembered.
“It was very hard to lose a mom at such a young age. I feel the loss every time a big life event happens – high school & college graduation, my wedding, having kids, all of my kids’ milestones.”
It has always been important to Tracy to honor her mom’s life, and being a part of the Race for the Cure/MORE THAN PINK Walk was a great opportunity to do that. She has participated in the Walk off and on for almost 20 years. Tracy started taking her kids and nieces to the walk at a young age to honor the Grandma they didn’t get to meet and increase their awareness of breast cancer and how it has impacted the family. “I quickly learned what a great organization it was and wanted to support the cause beyond the race. Knowing there’s a possibly that me, my sisters, and our kids are at a higher risk of having breast cancer, it’s important to me to support the cause,” Tracy added.
Tracy’s daughter, Jessica, joined her mom at many Walks, understanding what an important cause it was to her. “I always loved hearing about my Grandma Jody growing up and really wish I could have met her. My mom is my best friend, so I can’t even imagine the thought of not only having to watch her go through such a hard battle with breast cancer, but to lose her at such a young age. She is the strongest woman I know and the best mom, despite not having her own mom with her for very long,” Jessica reflected.
Growing up hearing about her Grandma Jody and the battle she endured, Jessica has also made it a priority to support the fight against breast cancer. After graduating college with a degree in Event Management, Jessica got the opportunity to intern with Susan G. Komen Oregon & SW Washington and help with the Virtual MORE THAN PINK Walk.
“This internship came at the perfect time in my life. Not only is it a great opportunity for me professionally, but it has also been a blessing to learn more about breast cancer and the resources Susan G. Komen offers, especially for small communities like the one my mom grew up in. I feel like I got to know my Grandma Jody better this summer and it has been a dream to be able to honor her life through my work.”
Fundraising for the Virtual MORE THAN PINK Walk ends October 31. Learn more about our services and donate today at komenoregon.org!