Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Month of October - Elaine Zager

October's page is graced by Elaine Zager.

"In early 2004 my older sister and dear friend (one in the same) was diagnosed with breast cancer.It was in our family history, but I guess I’d never really given any thought to mine, or either of my sisters, potential risk. Ellen had a mastectomy, had lymph nodes removed, endured chemotherapy, radiation. I traveled up to Minnesota a few times that year to be with her, to help her in anyway I could. She was, after all, diagnosed with cancer. In December 2004, just after finishing her radiation, she was approached by a friend and informed about the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk. Without hesitation, she answered yes. The walk was only 6 months away. When she called me about it, my first and only thought was, if she can do it, I have no excuse! I joined, and in June of 2005 she and I, along with our other teammates, participated in our first Twin Cities walk. Out of 9 women on our team, three of them are survivors. The experience is something I can hardly describe in words, let alone do it any justice in just a paragraph. I now consider myself a “co-survivor”. I have participated in the 2005 and 2007 Twin Cities walk, I am registered for the 2008 Twin Cities walk, I participate in a Breast Cancer Early Detection Study twice a year, enduring mammograms, MRI’s and ultra sounds with the hope of finding means to detect this disease as early as possible. I buy pink, lots of pink.

My sister is my hero. I had said earlier that ‘she was, in fact, diagnosed with cancer’, but besides the loss of some physical features you’d never know it. She beat this disease, and she beat it good. Although I’m sure she had incidents of feeling the pain and being depressed, I never saw it. She accepted the hand that was dealt and went about life.

There have been so many strides in the fight against breast cancer. I do what I can to help contribute to that fight. I believe that some day there will be a world without cancer. All the things that I do, the walk, the study, the awareness, I do it because I can, I do it for those who can’t, and I do it because it does make a difference."

Photograph by Eric Stanfield.

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