Making Strides is a difference-maker in fight

Becky Kinhan, Kimberly Laro and Kathi Russ, this year's volunteer chair. Courtesy
Becky Kinhan, Kimberly Laro and Kathi Russ, this year's volunteer chair. Courtesy
Kathi Russ with her friend, Trish Reid. Courtesy
Kathi Russ with her friend, Trish Reid. Courtesy
Kathi Russ with her friend, Trish Reid. Courtesy
Kathi Russ with her friend, Trish Reid. Courtesy

With stubborn hope and relentless energy I am a proud, 22-year volunteer for the American Cancer Society, a three-year breast cancer survivor and the volunteer event chairwoman of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2017 in Concord.

I am grateful for the quality, early detection that caught my cancer early on a routine mammogram. I am grateful for the technology that allowed me to be treated effectively, with a good prognosis. I am also grateful for Tamoxifen, the medication that reduces my risk of cancer reoccurrence, which was founded by the American Cancer Society.

I can share that although I thought I knew a lot about breast cancer, when I did get called back after my mammogram for more tests, one of the first resources I turned to was the American Cancer Society website, cancer.org

What I found so helpful about that website was at that moment, I needed information about what type of biopsy was to be done and what expectations I should have about that experience. I didn’t want to read about cancer yet and the website is structured so that I could read only about what I was interested in and willing to process at that time.

Once I was diagnosed, the website provided comprehensive information to help both me and my family understand what cancer I was dealing with and that was empowering for us. Everything from a list of questions to ask my doctors, to staging, treatment options and data, to prognosis information was useful. While everyone has a unique experience, I would share that if there is one piece of information that you take away from this article is that the American Cancer Society is a trusted resource for information and support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I have stubborn hope and relentless energy to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer.

I recall many years ago attending the event with my dear friend Trish, who was a survivor at the time at 29 years old, that there were very few men and boys at the event. (My young son at the time was with me hauling bananas and yogurts.) I thought, “Where are all the men in these women’s lives? Where are their husbands, sons, colleagues and neighbors?” I pledged to get the men and am proud that now, Making Strides truly is a tremendous community event, with men, women, children, friends, and yes, many young boys!

Perhaps it is because many young girls attend Making Strides. Everyone is welcome to come share the spirit of the day.

You can register at the event or prior to at  MakingStridesWalk.org/ concordnh.

This is our 25th anniversary of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and we treasure the opportunity to continue to raise the bar in our community. Our goal is to passionately engage more people and businesses to raise over $500,000 by Sunday.

We are grateful to our 25th commemorative sponsor, Concord Imaging Center for 25 years of supporting Making Strides. And to our flagship sponsor, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center/Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and all our sponsors whose generosity ensures that every participant donation supports the American Cancer Society.

With my friend’s memory in my heart and the wonderful people that I have met on my mind, that I am committed to Making Strides. I invite you to join our community at this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event at Memorial Field on Sunday. Opening Ceremonies begin at 12:30 p.m.

If you would like to know how you or your business can support Making Strides, please call 738-4404 or email chair@concordstrides.com

The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives and to lead the fight for a world without cancer. By backing visionaries, investing in longshots and building on hard-won knowledge to find powerful new weapons, The American Cancer Society is attacking cancer by making it less scary and confusing, less stressful, less lonely.

We’re attacking cancer by showing up every day, driving people, boosting people, picking them up when they’re down.

We’re attacking cancer by providing a free place to stay, by building a community. A home for healing.

We’re attacking cancer with stubborn hope, relentless energy and a promise that everywhere cancer rears its despicable head, we will be there to blunt its effects and lessen its power.

From the cellular level to the street level, with brilliant new thinking and in the darkest hours, the American Cancer Society is attacking cancer from every angle.

Author: Kathi Russ

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