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Support in numbers

- September 28th, 2009
Support in Numbers
Annual Remembrance Walk/Run benefits the Women’s Cancer Fund 9/28/09

The Remembrance Run/Walk is an annual event held at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The 5K run/walk and one mile run/walk, happening this Saturday, provides more than just an afternoon of exercise.
For women like Susan Booth, it provides a network of support and assistance for women who are battling, what she calls, “a devastating disease.”
“Breast cancer doesn’t just affect you,” says Booth, a Kingsley resident. “It affects everyone around you.”
In September 2008, Booth found a lump in her breast during a routine self-exam. The following month, when the rest of the country was donning itself in pink, Booth was told she had breast cancer. By November, she was undergoing a mastectomy – a surgical procedure that removed her left breast and the 7.5 cm mass.
Classified as micropapillary, the cancer had spread into the surrounding tissue walls and into the bloodstream, and was a poor prognosis.
“I was told that I was going to die from breast cancer,” Booth says.
The battle for survival came in the form of 28 radiation sessions and six months of chemotherapy.
“The worst part for me was losing my hair,” recalls Booth. “I was in the shower and at my feet was a pile of hair. I started crying my eyes out.”
Another challenge was telling her three children (ages 20, 16 and 10). Booth and her husband sat the children down individually to explain the situation.
“I told my 10-year-old daughter just the basics. ‘Mom has to take some medicine which will make me sick, but it’s not the cancer’” says Booth.
She also said she didn’t expect them to take care of her, that other people would.
“I’ll be damned if I let cancer rob my kids of their childhood.”
And people did help Booth.
Along with support from family, friends and the Women’s Navigators Program (connecting breast cancer patients with other survivors), Booth also received help through the Munson Healthcare Women’s Cancer Fund – a local, nonprofit that provides supportive care in the form of transportation, utilities, prosthetics and more.
“They will give you things like a gas card,” says Booth. “Let’s say you live in Bellaire and you have to travel everyday for treatment. That gas mileage really adds up in the end.”
Proceeds from the Remembrance Run/Walk go directly to the Women’s Cancer Fund, which during the first six months of 2009, reported that 49 women had already been assisted with $30,801.
“It is really nice,” Booth says of the WCF. “Once you have cancer, it changes your life. But it really makes a difference to have a support group. I have received so much help. I intend to pay it forward.”

Susan Booth will pay it forward when she hosts the Lope for Hope, Classic Horse Show and Auction, Saturday, October 17, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It will be at Waltons Ranch in Kingsley, located south of Traverse City on M-37.


Thinking about getting out and enjoying the crisp fall air? Take a stroll – or run – for a good cause. The Remembrance Run/Walk is happening this Saturday, October 3, at the wooded and scenic Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. This non-competitive run/walk event honors women and their fight against breast cancer.
Participants may choose from a 5K Walk, 5K Run or one mile Run/Walk. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the 5K Walk at 9:45 a.m. There will also be a Breast Health Fair from 8-10 a.m., featuring booths and health experts offering valuable health information.
Every dollar raised through the event, above costs, will be donated to the Munson Health Women’s Cancer Fund. The WCF provides supportive care including childcare, transportation, wigs, prosthetics and more.
For more information, and to register for the Remembrance Walk/Run, visit www.remembrancerun.com. Timber Ridge Resort is located at 4050 Hammond Road, just east of Traverse City. Call 231-947-2770.

 
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