In 2008, our school had the first teacher in memory to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. In our picture from that year, there are four staff members who did not know their battle with breast cancer was yet to come. Unfortunately since then we have had 6 staff members diagnosed with breast cancer.
In September of 2015, we lost two dear staff members, Betty and Jan, within weeks of each other and we will never be the same. And we have another staff member, Darby, continuing to work as she lives with Stage IV Breast Cancer.
We are taking matters into our own hands to make sure our money goes to research for a cure. We want to bring hope back to those living each day knowing it is one day closer to the last because there is not a cure for metastatic breast cancer right now. We are holding our own walk and are asking our participants to please donate to METAvivor because we know 100% will go to breast cancer research. We hope we can see an end to breast cancer.
My Story, by Darby
Two years ago I was recently married and my husband and I were in the middle of infertility treatments. We were weeks away from our beginning our next steps in starting a family when a routine exam discovered a lump. I had no family history of breast cancer. I had a clear mammogram exactly a year prior. This could not be breast cancer I thought. It had to be a cyst. I had those before. I was going to be fine. But a day later I got the news. It was breast cancer. But I knew I would beat it. A week later, as I prepared for treatment, a PET scan rocked my world again. The cancer had already spread to my liver and spine. It was Stage IV metastatic cancer. NO CURE. I was dying. In the span of two weeks I went from trying to create life to trying to save my own.
As I grappled with the reality of my situation my coworkers and friends, who were also dealing with this awful disease, guided me through my new reality. I learned that instead of intensive chemo and months of sickness my treatment would be mild and nearly invisible at first but it would never end. The goal now was to "manage" my disease. Keep it at bay as long as possible with as few side effects as possible.
Now two years in, my two friends are gone. I am already on my second treatment. I ache. I'm constantly tired. I've gained weight. My body doesn't look or feel the way it used to. I often feel lonely, sad and scared thinking about what the future holds. And, yes, I cry every day thinking of those I will leave behind.
Despite this I am thankful. I am thankful for the support I have been given by my friends, family and coworkers. I am thankful that I can still work and have moments when I forget about my disease because I have a classroom of seven and eight year olds that giggle, laugh and are excited at each new discovery they make. I am thankful for the unconditional love and support I get each day from my loving husband, my parents, my brother, all of my in-laws and my wonderful nephews and nieces.
I am also hopeful. Although the reality is that a cure will probably not be found to help me, I am hopeful that the message about the need for research funding is finally being heard. Supporting the METAvivor organization is an important step in getting the message out and finding the cure. And maybe, just maybe a new treatment or even a cure will be found in time to help me.
In Memory of Betty
The family of Betty has asked that any donations made in her memory be sent to METAvivor. We were all shocked and deeply saddened by her unexpected death in September from metastasized breast cancer previously thought to be cured. We hope you will join us at the event to think of Betty and donate to METAvivor to try to find a cure to prevent more families from losing loved ones too early.
100% of donations to METAvivor go to research grants with the goal of ending death from metastatic breast cancer. METAvivor is a volunteer led organization and has donated over $1.8 million to metastatic breast cancer research since its founding in 2009. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.