Walkers share what ignites their passions

Jo Bunten, leader of team Brave Hearts. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Jo Bunten, leader of team Brave Hearts. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Sabrina Carley of team Gertie's Gang. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Sabrina Carley of team Gertie's Gang. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Katie Detty, leader of team Surviving for Two. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Katie Detty, leader of team Surviving for Two. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Edie Hamilton of team Lotus Blossoms.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Edie Hamilton of team Lotus Blossoms. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Samantha Laliberte of team Tooth Fairies of Concord Pediatric Dentistry.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Samantha Laliberte of team Tooth Fairies of Concord Pediatric Dentistry. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Kimberly Laro of team Soldiering On. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Kimberly Laro of team Soldiering On. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Candace Schaefer of team Candi's Breast Friends.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Candace Schaefer of team Candi's Breast Friends. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Suzy Seagroves, leader of team The Brady Bunch. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Suzy Seagroves, leader of team The Brady Bunch. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Desiree Spaulding of team Ohana 2018. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Desiree Spaulding of team Ohana 2018. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Julia Michael of team Heidi's Fight for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Julia Michael of team Heidi's Fight for a Cure. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Susan Burdett of team Cruising for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Susan Burdett of team Cruising for a Cure. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Brittany Fisher and Judy Kenison of team JFJJ. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Brittany Fisher and Judy Kenison of team JFJJ. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Donna and Jen of team Rehab Rackers. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Donna and Jen of team Rehab Rackers. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Zachery Ingram of team Heidi's Fight for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Zachery Ingram of team Heidi's Fight for a Cure. Courtesy of Kathi Russ
Donna Wilbur of team Healing Hearts. Courtesy of Donna Wilbur
Donna Wilbur of team Healing Hearts. Courtesy of Donna Wilbur
Jo Bunten, leader of team Brave Hearts. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Jo Bunten, leader of team Brave Hearts. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Jo Bunten

Team: Brave Hearts

What ignites your passion for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer? The Brave Hearts team will be participating on Oct. 14 to honor and remember those we have lost, support those currently in treatment and those who have survived.

This year we walk in honor of Sue Auerbach, Dottie Bozek, Connie Collins, Winifred Harty, Judith Houle, Lorraine Kreamer, Jean Boisvert, Pauline Ouellette, Hilary Morrison Roman, Deidre and Lindsey Morin, Catherine O’Brian, Rose Gagnon, Jacob Bryson, Jazmin Miranda, Sue Swenson Gulezian, Deb Enman, Mary Buckley Raine, Wesley Verrill and Marge Plodzik.

This year is my 19th year of survivorship and the 18th year the “Brave Hearts” team has participated in this event. Thank you to those of you that were on the team and those of you that made donations to the team. I am extremely proud to be a part of this team and appreciate each and every one of you.

 

Sabrina Carley of team Gertie's Gang. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Sabrina Carley of team Gertie’s Gang. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Sabrina Carley

Team: Gertie’s Gang

What ignites your passion? Sixteen years ago when Memé (Gertie) was diagnosed, my sister and I took our first steps with Making Strides. As I soaked up the atmosphere of that day it ignited the passion.

So to honor the strength and immeasurable influences that Memé had on our lives, Gertie’s Gang was born.

We will continue Making Strides, till one day we won’t have to! We love and miss you Memé!

 

Katie Detty, leader of team Surviving for Two. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Katie Detty, leader of team Surviving for Two. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Katie Detty

Team: Surviving for Two

What ignites your passion? At 31 years old while pregnant with my son, I never expected to get the diagnosis of breast cancer. My family’s world was turned upside down. Instead of focusing on the joy of bringing our first baby home, we had no other choice but to put all our energy in to kicking cancer’s ass!

Chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomy and four years later, I am proud to say I have No Evidence of Disease and am mom to a healthy 3½-year-old!

My family walks with the hope that in our lifetime we will see a cure for breast cancer. I share my story to encourage young women to advocate for themselves! There is no such thing as too young for breast cancer.

 

Edie Hamilton of team Lotus Blossoms.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Edie Hamilton of team Lotus Blossoms.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Edie Hamilton

Team: Lotus Blossoms

What ignites your passion? I continue to walk for my mother, who inspires me every day to be thankful and appreciate the time we share together.

My mother’s strength as well as the strength of all survivors unites us to fight to end cancer and bring change! She ignites my passion to fight to find a cure for cancer so no daughter will fear for her mother!

She is my hope!

 

Samantha Laliberte of team Tooth Fairies of Concord Pediatric Dentistry.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Samantha Laliberte of team Tooth Fairies of Concord Pediatric Dentistry.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Samantha Laliberte

Team: Tooth Fairies of Concord Pediatric Dentistry

What ignites your passion? The courage, the hope and the strength of those who have suffered or are currently suffering breast cancer is what ignites my passion to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer.

 

Suzy Seagroves, leader of team The Brady Bunch. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Suzy Seagroves, leader of team The Brady Bunch. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Suzy Seagroves

Team: The Brady Bunch

What ignites your passion? I hope more people get to ring the bell.

 

Kimberly Laro of team Soldiering On. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Kimberly Laro of team Soldiering On. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Kimberly Laro

Team: Soldiering On

What ignites your passion? For the past 18 years I have been a Sarah’s Soldier. Being part of this team is what brought me to the event and what inspired me to volunteer my time and even chair this event.

I will always be a Sarah’s Soldier at heart, but with time brings change, and this year we will walk as the team Soldiering On. We will soldier on for all we have loved and lost to this disease: for Sarah, Donna, Trish, Judy, Lula, Heidi and too many more.

For Bethany, Donna, Trudy and Kathi who have faced this disease, we will soldier on. For all whose lives have been touch by cancer, we will soldier on.

 

Candace Schaefer of team Candi's Breast Friends.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Candace Schaefer of team Candi’s Breast Friends.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Candace Schaefer

Team: Candi’s Breast Friends

What ignites your passion? In October 2017, after three mammograms, two ultrasounds and one breast biopsy came the words I dreaded: “You have Breast Cancer.” It was two days before my 32nd birthday.

My first thought was how can this be real, how can this be happening? I’m too young for breast cancer, I’m too healthy and fit for breast cancer! I was wrong. That day started a yearlong journey I never thought I would have to take. Twenty chemo treatments, 28 radiation treatments and a double mastectomy later I am now cancer-free and thriving. My husband and I are closer than ever, my daughter is more understanding and compassionate, and I have a brand new appreciation for life. This journey has taught me so much.

I am ignited to walk and raise funds in an effort to help my daughter’s generation. I hope that through our efforts, along with the efforts of every other team across the country, a cure can be found for breast cancer. I hope that my daughter, or anyone’s daughter, will not have to endure the same horrendous year I just did.

I am blessed to have found this cancer as there is no such thing as “too young” or “too fit” for breast cancer. If I can serve as a beacon of hope for others, my journey will have been worth it.

 

Desiree Spaulding of team Ohana 2018. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Desiree Spaulding of team Ohana 2018. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Desiree Spaulding

Team: Ohana 2018

What ignites your passion? Our team is Making Strides because each and every one of us has lost someone to cancer and we all know the pain that they have gone through and the pain that we have felt.

Finding a cure for this would be a great thing. The time that we all put into this means a lot to us and everyone else.

Thank you!

 

Zachery Ingram of team Heidi's Fight for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Zachery Ingram of team Heidi’s Fight for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Zachery Ingram

Team: Heidi’s Fight For A Cure

What ignites your passion? I make strides for my Auntie Heidi.

What ignites me is raising money to help others fight breast cancer.

What also ignites me is to help The American Cancer Society find a cure to defeat breast cancer, and other cancers.

 

Donna Wilbur of team Healing Hearts. Courtesy of Donna Wilbur

Donna Wilbur of team Healing Hearts. Courtesy of Donna Wilbur

Donna Wilbur

Team: Healing Hearts

What ignites your passion? Cancer survivors ignite me! Healing Hearts is a team brought together by a shared diagnosis of cancer. With the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease, survivors share unspeakable fears, but also share the hope, the passion and the commitment to make a difference. While survivors represent all the strides made in cancer research and technology, they understand there is still much to do and will continue their fight until a day in our future when cancer no longer threatens our families and friends.

My belief in the American Cancer Society and their mission to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer ignites me. The funds we raise at Making Strides provides guidance and support to families in our community traveling this difficult journey. And I do believe the research of The American Cancer Society will end cancer – and I hope it is soon.

 

Julia Michael of team Heidi's Fight for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Julia Michael of team Heidi’s Fight for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Julia Michael

Team: Heidi’s Fight For A Cure

What ignites your passion? I have been participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Concord every year for 11 years. My aunt Heidi died from breast cancer when I was 5 years old. She was a very special person to me and a lot of other people, so I walk with our family and friends to honor her memory.

What ignites me? I feel proud of raising money with my team. The money raised helps with research and getting people the care they need, so hopefully families and friends don’t have to lose people they love. I like thinking of new ways to raise money and beat the amount raised the year before. This year our team is doing things like bake sales, lemonade stands and raffles.

I know my aunt Heidi is happy that we do this every year and she is proud of her friends and family for keeping her team going.

 

Susan Burdett of team Cruising for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Susan Burdett of team Cruising for a Cure.  Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Susan Burdett

Team: Cruising for a Cure

What ignites your passion for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer? I walk in honor of my aunt and my two friends who lost their battles against breast cancer but also for my brave sister-in-law and seven friends who are survivors who won their battles! Let’s unite and ignite the fight against this disease so the next generation will not have to!

 

Brittany Fisher and Judy Kenison of team JFJJ. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Brittany Fisher and Judy Kenison of team JFJJ. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Brittany Fisher and Judy Kenison

Team: JFJJ

What ignites your passion for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer? Our team was ignited to unite in 2002 when Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer. We all supported her as she went through surgery, chemo, and radiation. We continued to support Judy’s recovery efforts and hope for the future as she founded Team JFJJ as we worked together to raised funds for Making Strides. When Judy (or as some like to call her, Gran) could no longer be team leader, Brittany was ignited to reunite the team and this dynamic duo continues to support the effort with a team that ranges from 15 to 30-plus members, raising yearly contributions between $1,500 and $15,000! In 2017, Judy was again diagnosed with breast cancer, igniting the team to unite in helping her become a Making Strides Pacesetter for Team JFJJ. This team continues to be inspired by the strength and courage of Judy/Mom/Gran, the matriarch of our family and original leader of this pack. We are honored to wear those four letters on our backs because what unites us, ignites us.

 

Donna and Jen of team Rehab Rackers. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Donna and Jen of team Rehab Rackers. Courtesy of Kathi Russ

Donna and Jen

Team: Rehab Rackers

What ignites your passion for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer? We have been leading the Rehab Rackers team for 18 years now! Our team is primarily composed of moms and daughters and although we may seem small in number, we are mighty together and always rank within the top 10 fundraising teams.

We have personally been affected by many forms of cancer, and this walk gives us purpose and fuel to ignite this fight!

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much! – Helen Keller

Author: Insider Staff

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