I promise

"I promise, Suzy... Even if it takes the rest of my life." - Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?


Just in recent years, Triple Negative Breast Cancer has sparked interest in the news where instead of calling the tumor as ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative; researchers began using the shorthand term, "Triple Negative," dubbed the "new type" type of cancer. Being Triple Negative, you don't have a targeted therapy and that your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Triple Negative is seen in about 15% of all breast cancers. Triple Negative is a very aggressive cancer that tends to strike younger women, pre-menopause, especially among African-American women and women who have BRCA1 mutations. The tumor tends to be fast growing and is less likely to show up on an annual mammogram. TN is more likely to metastasis early on; has a high rate of recurrence in the first 2-3 years from diagnosis and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer due to lack of specific, targeted treatment for TNBC.

Carpe diem

Seize Each new Day with Renewed Strength,
Believe in Yourself, Go forward with
Courage and faith
to face whatever Tomorrow may bring.

Chicks For Charity motto:

Enjoy life. Laugh a lot.
Work hard. Play hard.
Be thankful for our blessings.
Share the wisdom. Give back

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Remembering Lucy...

So hard to believe that you two are not with us anymore, Judi and Lucy.  We all met in a local breast cancer support group and we all thought we had beaten cancer.  Judi's breast cancer came back after 5 years, and was accidentally discovered by a chest x-ray where a spot was revealed on her lung.
Lucy, who was a 3 year Triple Negative Breast Cancer had a recurrence to her bones and lost her battle 19 months later in October 2016.

This is the last photo I had with both of these extremely brave ladies together, as we got together for the Komen survivor breakfast.  With Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Komen Race for the Cure is fast approaching again, we are reminded of why and who we continue to fight for, for better treatments and a cure.

Please ladies, take care of yourself and do take the time to do your self breast-exams and keep up with your annual mammograms.  Also, do something special for that special lady you know who have gone through this battle... and always remember those that remain in our hearts.

Remembering Judi and Lucy

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Victory Center Celebrity Wait Night 2018

On May 1, 2018,  I volunteered selling raffle tickets at this year baseball theme Celebrity Wait Night fundraiser for The Victory Center.  $45,000 was raised in support of The Victory Center Mission: "to provide hope and support to cancer patients, survivors and those closest to them."

Us Victory Center gals volunteers
Lori, Carol and Melissa

"Reaching out to
cancer patients and
their families"

We raised a record of $45,000!

Toledo Rockets for the Cure 2018

I was among the 5,024 in attendance supporting The University of Toledo Rockets Women Basketball win over Western Michigan at their 12th annual Rockets for the Cure on February 17, 2018.  $12, 315 was raised by the Lady Rockets for cancer research and supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer in Northwest Ohio.

One of these girls is not like the others...

Season high 5,024 fans!

Rockets for the Cure

Woot, Woot!

Lady Rockets in pink!

Western Michigan has their pink on too!

These Rockets are winners!

Great game ladies!

These ladies are the true inspirations!

Pink jerseys auction time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

An Evening with Annie Parker 2018

On January 4, 2018, I was invited by University of Toledo Center for Health & Successful Living and College of Medicine and Life Sciences for a very special visit with Annie Parker, a breast cancer survivor and genetic testing advocate.  It was Annie Parker who insisted there was a connection between cancer and hereditary after her mother, sister and herself have all battled cancer.  
Annie pushed for research that led to the 1994 discovery of the BRCA1 gene mutation by Dr. Mary-Claire King, a Geneticist.  Annie Parker was one of the fist women to be genetically tested for BRCA1 that confirmed her belief of a link between hereditary and breast cancer, upon her receiving a positive diagnosis of the BRCA1 gene mutation.  
We met with Annie Parker as she arrived at the University of Toledo Center for Health & Successful Living where she was welcomed by their staff and the support of breast cancer survivors who have participated in their services. From there, we had lunch at 31hundred Restaurant at the Radisson Hotel where we had nice conversations with Annie Parker and showing each other photos of our dogs on our cell phones.  Later in the early evening we went to the showing of the film, Decoding Annie Parker that recounts her story of fighting breast cancer and the discovery of the BRCA gene mutation.  Annie Parker did speak on the film, her journey and her book, Annie Parker Decoded, followed by a panel discussion by UTMC medical and counseling
doctors and staff.  Afterwards, it was off to eat again for dinner at the Inverness Country Club and a recap of the role and importance of genetic testing.
Thank you UT Center for Health and Successful Living, UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences and Annie Park for this wonderful day of sharing stories and education on genetic testing and hereditary breast cancer.  

University of Toledo Center for Health and Successful Living
with Annie Parker

Sharing breast cancer stories with Annie 

Sharing stories of how UT Center for Health and
Successful Living has helped us survivors in our journey

University of Toledo's President Sharon Gaber introduces
Annie Parker during the film, Decoding Annie Parker

Annie shares her story of breast cancer that
inspired the movie, Decoding Annie Parker

Panel discussion on breast cancer research and genetic testing

Melissa with Annie Parker with a signed copy of
her book, Annie Parker Decoded

Annie discusses how she insisted there was link
between breast cancer and genetics and pushed for
research in genetic testing which led to the discovery of
the BRCA gene mutation that put you a high risk
of a diagnosis.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Motor City Dragon Boat Paddling Practice 2017

On July 17, 2017, TNBC sister Terry whom I met at a breast cancer conference in Philadelphia  and lives in the Detroit area, had invited me to come paddle with them at their Motor City Dragon Boat practice at the Ford Yacht Club in Groses Ile, Michigan.  The Motor City Dragon Boat Team consisting of may breast cancer survivors and co-survivors compete at various dragon boat race festivals raising funds donated to Breast Cancer Charitable Organizations that help survivors.
I was grateful for this experience and I had a lot of fun with these group of survivors and even was asked to join them at their upcoming race in Chicago... I had to decline the race invitation for I felt I was not coordinated enough with the paddle plus it was just too physical for me to keep up.
Thank you again Csilla for this wonderful fun experience on the waters and I hope to meet up with your team again for another adventure.

Motor City Dragon Boat Team

That's me, all the way to the back where
Csilla coached me on paddling

Us breast cancer survivors...
TNBC sisters Terry and Melissa on the right end

Team Motor City Dragons with me standing
between Terry and Csilla

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Northwest Ohio 2018 Honorary Survivor

**Meet this year's 2018 honorary survivor!**

At the age of 41, Melissa Paskvan was diagnosed August 6, 2009 with Triple Negative Breast Cancer after finding a lump during a self exam.  She reacted fast and 2 days later got in for a mammogram followed by an ultrasound.  Having dense breasts, her 2cm lump did not show up on her mammogram. Melissa insisted on a needle biopsy right then and there.  2 days afterwards, she received the dreadful phone call from her doctor...
8½ years cancer free now, Melissa is very active in the breast cancer community advocating to further breast cancer research. Please join Melissa in the fight to end breast cancer with your support and participation at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on May 19th, 2018. 

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

Toledo, Making Strides American Cancer Society Walk May 19, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Register for 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Northwest Ohio

Help us fight to end breast cancer!

Nice day for a photo shoot for an upcoming commercial... 
Register for May 19, 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk starting at Hensville Park, Downtown Toledo.  Lots of great entertainment and activities are planned for this event.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Who Inspires you?

 "I am inspired by all these beautiful lovely ladies pictured in this photo. I admire your strength in your journey to face the challenges you come upon. You all are the reason I continue to fight for our TNBC cause... for continued research, better treatments, a targeted therapy and ultimately a cure. Embrace hope, Hope for more tomorrows!"❤️

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Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

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Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project

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