Today we are thrilled to welcome breast cancer survivor Jan Middleton to Family Friendly Cincinnati. Jan is a co-founder of Team Ta-Tas, a breast cancer survivor and a proud supporter of the Greater Cincinnati Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. You can learn more about Team Ta-Tas and join them for the 2011 Race for the Cure, at http://teamtatas.wordpress.com.
I was diagnosed at the age of 39. I am one of the more than 10,000 young women under the age of 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
When I was first diagnosed, I wondered, “will I live long enough to see my children grow up?” I fought my way through several surgeries and four months of chemotherapy. My family, friends and neighbors supported and cared for me throughout those two years of my battle. I learned many lessons about the human spirit, true friendship and what it means to care for those in your community. I made a promise to myself that if I could get through this nightmare, I would do everything in my power to fight the larger battle against breast cancer.
At the suggestion of a close friend, I participated in the 2008 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. And while the winds swirled from Hurricane Ike, I realized how I would give back – by forming Team Ta-Tas. Our growing team participates in the Komen Race for the Cure each and every year, with 165 members participating in the 2010 Race. In fact, our team works year-round to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Since 2008, Team Ta-Tas has raised $40,000 for the Greater Cincinnati Komen Affiliate, which uses 75 percent of its funds raised for services in the Tri-State and 25 percent to fund vital research to find a cure for breast cancer.
The Greater Cincinnati Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has one clear goal – saving lives. Throughout the Tri-State, Komen provides education about breast cancer and early detection; information and support to breast cancer survivors and their families; funding for free mammograms for women without insurance or who are underprivileged; and funding for transportation and treatment support for survivors. And because 25 percent of its funds go toward research to find a cure, Komen has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer over the past 28 years.
I am thankful to be a four year survivor, but I am angered and heartbroken by the many losses I have seen on this journey. Too many young women have had their hopes and dreams ripped away by this disease. Breast cancer is a disease that takes the mother from her children, the daughter from her mother, and the young wife from her husband. Breast cancer takes so much from so many, and we need it to stop. I will continue to fight in honor of those who are no longer here to stand beside me in this battle. My mom is a survivor. I am a survivor. And I want a cure for breast cancer before my daughter can follow in our path.
Join us in the fight against breast cancer Saturday, Sept. 24 for the 2011 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! Register today at http://www.komencincinnati.org.