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My name is Tracie Westcott, and I am NOT a runner! But for the next four months, I’ll be training my heart out as I prepare for the Cellcom half marathon in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Why on earth would I run 13.1 miles when the thought of running even a couple miles makes me grimace? Please allow me to introduce to you my inspiration for this race, my beautiful fighter of a friend, Jen Willman Ketola, who has been battling Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer (“MBC”) since April 2017.
Jen Willman Ketola is 40 years young. Married to her high school sweetheart Josh, they have two beautiful daughters Jonnie (10) and Cece (7), who they are raising in a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Jen is a business owner and is active in her community; she serves as President of the community contemporary center in her “spare” time. She is the kind of wife, mother, daughter, sister, family member, and friend you consider yourself blessed to have in your life. Jen makes this world a better place, and we want her here for many, many years to come.
Since Jen’s diagnosis, I’ve discovered the majority of breast cancer research funding is not directed to MBC. Sadly, only an estimated 2 - 5% of research funding goes towards MBC; with approximately over 230,000 Americans given this grim diagnosis each year, there is a dire need for additional funding.
In support of Jen’s fight and the fight of all others with MBC, along with a desire to increase awareness for the need of research funding, I am running my first half marathon on May 20, 2018, and will be raising funds for METAvivor. METAvivor is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that directs 100% of its funds to MBC research through a scientific peer review process. It is run mostly by volunteers, so rest assured, 100% of any donations made will be directed to research. METAvivor’s mission “is to transition metastatic breast cancer from a terminal diagnosis to a chronic, manageable disease with a decent quality of life.”
While I realize there are many worthy causes out there, please consider donating to my fundraising efforts for METAvivor. By supporting this cause, you will be supporting Jen Willman Ketola and thousands of others fighting MBC. No amount is too small; every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your consideration.