I am emailing to ask for your support and donation for Pam Lucken’s 2009 Breast Cancer Fundraiser. Here is her link: http://www.the3day.org/site/
Many of you know that Pam and I recently celebrated a special 1-year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis. The whole story is actually chronicled on a blog she started at the time of her diagnosis to update friends and family: www.pamlucken.blogspot.com
(note from Pam: obviously, if you are here, you knew that part!)
When Pam walked 60 miles last summer just a few weeks after finishing chemotherapy and earlier surgery, she inspired all of us. However, the true inspiration for her closest family members was her incredible ability to fight this daily battle while still being a great Mom, wife, friend, sister, and daughter. Dragging herself to swim meets, soccer games, school events, pickups, drop-offs, conferences, gardening, appointments (~55 or so in the span of 1 year!), was really the true test of her amazing spirit and will. For those who haven’t experienced first hand or witnessed first hand the effects of chemo, it is essentially a controlled poisoning. I still don’t know how she managed to pull it off (well actually I know at least part of it had to do with all of the love and support that came from you all).
Luckily, we were able to raise over $10,000 for this cause (again with the help of many of you!). Since then she has had more surgeries and ongoing treatments to ensure her health and cancer free future. While she continues to live life on her terms, she is (with a little help from her family), sticking to a lifestyle which maximizes her health (lots of anti-cancer supplements, great diet, exercise, etc.).
When I have given money to various fundraisers over the years, I never really thought of the cause but more about helping a friend hit a goal. I just always assumed the money was going to a good place, a good cause. Well, I can assure you that the money being raised for this cause IS making a difference for thousands of women and their families. Luckily, breast cancer research is evolving rapidly towards targeted treatments, new chemotherapy approaches, better surgical outcomes, new detection methodologies, and ultimately better survival rates. In my lifetime, breast cancer will be considered a curable illness, period. Of course it is nice to know that people are willing to support the person, and I know many of you were kind of enough to do this. But, please know the money you have donated will go towards this eventual cure and saving lives.
As Pam’s amazing oncologist (Dr. Margolis) told us, there are 3 groups of cancer patients– those whose cancer is cured by the treatment, those whose cancer did not need treatment in the first place (it wouldn’t have come back but you never know so have to treat to be safe), and those whose cancer resists treatment and returns (recurrence). Unfortunately, you don’t know which group any one patient will fall into.
BRCA1 Triple Negative breast cancer (Pam’s cancer type) is unique in that there is a higher initial recurrence rate, but for unknown reason drops drastically after 5 years and to near zero after 8 years. Researchers are just beginning to understand ways in which triple negative can be defeated so that the initial higher recurrence rates can be addressed with targeted therapies and novel detection approaches. This is where the research funding is so critical.
Pam and I look forward to celebrating her 40th Birthday which will coincide with her 5-year recurrence-free window. With some help from great research minds (Constantine, you are the best), dedicated fundraisers (thanks Nancy and team..and Ellyn, you are amazing), wonderful cancer foundations, and a little help from generous donors like you, maybe this birthday party can also be a celebration of a cure! If so, consider this a “save the date note” - July 10, 2013.
Thanks again for all of your love and support! I know some of you have already donated – thank you so much.
Bill and Pam (and Emma, Katie and Nathan too)