Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Day I Found Out
. . . .

The Day I Found Out

Erin Crowell - September 26th, 2011  
United by breast cancer concerns in Remembrance Run


Traverse City resident and avid cyclist Vita Morse became the fourth woman in her family to be diagnosed with breast cancer last November. Morse donates handmade knit items to the Remembrance Run auction. above


The 18th Annual Remembrance Run invites men, women and children to support the Women’s Cancer Fund, which provides financial assistance—from gas money and childcare—to Northern Michigan women facing cancer. left

Last November, Vita Morse’s aunt told her the breast cancer had returned for the third time – this time Stage III.

Shaken by her aunt’s bad news, Morse soonafter decided to perform a self-check breast exam while in the shower.

She found something. “I found a pea-size lump and thought, ‘Oh boy, I better check this out,” said the 50-year-old Traverse City resident.

Morse quickly scheduled an appointment with her physician at the Smith Family Breast Center where, at first the lump was undetectable by a diagnostic mammogram.

“My doctor picked it up on the ultrasound machine and told me, ‘Well, you’re in trouble,” said Morse, adding a biopsy confirmed she had breast cancer.

“My mother and both of her sisters all had breast cancer,” said the avid cyclist who’s been a top contender in many cycling races through the years, “so it didn’t blindside me when I found mine.”

Morse, her mother and her aunts are part of a growing list of women facing the second most common form of cancer in U.S. women.

A RUN TO REMEMBER

Nearly two decades ago, two friends— both members of the Traverse City Track Club—were at a New Years Eve party, discussing the possibility of hosting a running event that would financially support breast cancer patients.

Eighteen years later, the Remembrance Run returns to Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City, on Saturday, Oct. 1, where participants will have the opportunity to raise both awareness and funds to help women fight breast cancer, along with other forms of cancer.

“It used to be that I could count on one hand how many friends and family members have been challenged by breast cancer, now I use two hands,” said Karen Wells, who has been involved with the Remembrance Run on and off for a number of years, but has served as its director for the past five years.

According to the most recent data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 202,964 U.S. women—in 2007—were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,598 died that same year.

This form of cancer is also found in men; and although approximately 1,000 males in the U.S. are diagnosed each year, many wait to report the symptoms, allowing the cancer to spread to other parts of the body with less chance of recovery, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Because of the rarity for male breast cancer, most fundraising and awareness efforts are focused on women.

KEEPING THE HELP AT HOME

Looking at the larger picture, the National Institute of Health reported breast cancer as having the highest associated medical costs for the United States in 2010 at $16.5 billion.

While that amount may appear to reflect research and direct medical care, a considerable amount comes from the logistics of administrative coordinating and handling.

At first, the Remembrance Run served as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society; however, the women of the TC Track Club noticed the money raised during the run was actually being transferred outside of the local community; and much of that was going to administrative costs, said Wells.

The group of women aimed to change that cash flow by approaching Munson Medical Center with the goal of establishing a local cancer fund – hence, the birth of Northern Michigan’s Women’s Cancer Fund in 1997.

To date, the WCF has given $450,000 in financial assistance to over 725 area women with all forms of cancer, thanks to several organizations and annual events. However, the Remembrance Run continues to be the WCF’s Number One fundraiser.

Last year, the event raised $28,676 – a number organizers hope to surpass with the 18th year.

“This event is growing leaps and bounds,” said Wells. “Over the years we’ve gone from raising $300 to $3,000 and we’re now looking at raising over $30,000.”

The WCF has helped women dealing with cancer in Northern Michigan with financial burdens outside of treatment costs, such as childcare, utilities and gas money to and from appointments.

“It relieves a lot of the anxiety and stress for women who are going through a lot,” said Wells.

For Morse, the possibility of going through chemotherapy brought about fears for herself and her loved ones – ironically, her family’s history qualified Morse for a study on a test that determines whether or not chemotherapy would prove effective in keeping the cancer from returning.

“The test said that I didn’t need chemotherapy and I thank my lucky stars,” she said, instead opting for a mastectomy (which removed breast tissue).

“I started reconstruction in February. The end result is that I’m a 50-year-old with a nice set of hooters,” she laughed, a touch of relief in her voice. GETTING OUT THE WORD Aside from the walk, itself (1-mile and 5k run/walk courses through the wooded trails of Timber Ridge), perhaps the most important component of the Remembrance Run is the Breast Health Fair, from 8-10 a.m., which includes area health professionals and exhibits offering information on early breast detection, diagnosis, treatment, post treatment care and the challenges associated with breast cancer; along with a silent auction.

Over the past few years, Morse has donated several handmade knit hats, mittens and gloves to the event.

“I’m usually out of town that weekend, so I like to donate some items to the cause. This year I’ll be at a horse show with my daughter,” she said, adding her 15-yearold daughter is too young at the moment, but will eventually have a blood test to determine if she has the gene associated with breast cancer.

“That’s probably my biggest worry.” Wells said that like breast cancer, the Remembrance Run has reached beyond just women battling a disease.

“This used to be primarily a women’s event, but it has really turned into a family day where husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, kids and high school students come out to support a universal issue,” she said. “Breast cancer doesn’t just touch women.”

Registration for the 18th Annual Remembrance Run is available at remembrancerun.com where early signup includes an official t-shirt. Expect anywhere from 250 to over 500 participants at this year’s event, which includes a noncompetitive 1-mile and 5k run/walk through the trails of Timber Ridge Resort, in Traverse City, starting at 9:45 a.m. A Breast Health Fair will run from 8-10 a.m., featuring local vendors and exhibits on breast health and cancer awareness. Registration is $25 in advance ($65/family); $30 the day-of ($80/ family), which supports the Women’s Cancer Fund – providing financial assistance to area women facing cancer of all forms.

 
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