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Leave a message on the Wall of Hope, presented by CIBC

Jasmine Ross (pictured far right) at the 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Durham Region with her husband James (left), her aunt Linda (centre) and her daughter Akaterine

My name is Jasmine and I am 26 years old. I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful husband and am a warrior who fought the battle known as breast cancer. I found my lump in March 2012 and was diagnosed with triple negative invasive breast cancer in May 2012, at the young age of 25. I had a lumpectomy and 16 auxiliary lymph nodes removed in May 2012. At this time I have had eight chemo treatments, 25 radiation treatments and a bilateral mastectomy with more reconstruction surgery to come.

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Holly Bailey participated in the 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Fort McMurray, where she told this inspirational story as part of her survivor’s speech.

On December 30, 2011 I found out I had breast cancer – I was 26 years old.  What can I say? My world stopped. I was in shock given that I have no family history of breast cancer and the fact that I was so young.

I never really thought, “I have breast cancer.” I figured it was just a cyst or I was worrying about nothing. Let this be a lesson – it doesn’t matter how old you are! If you have something you think you should be concerned about, go get it checked out!

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Jennifer, Stephanie and Heather at the studio. Photo credit: Tot Shots Photography

Jennifer McCrea is a returning participant of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. She shares an update with us, and on two of her friends who are also breast cancer survivors and members of her team.

It was the third Saturday in May — the second last Saturday before I was set to run the Calgary Marathon, my first marathon. I am a 36-year-old breast cancer survivor that only took up running after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2011.

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Saufia has taken an active role in taking steps toward reducing her breast cancer risk.

Nearly 14 years ago, my family and I lost my mom to breast cancer, and a little over two years ago, I watched my first cousin succumb to the same fate as my mom. Breast cancer is an insatiable disease and has no respect for the families it intrudes upon or any boundaries, affecting women of all ages: daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, grand-daughters, and girlfriends.

To honour all those who have experienced breast cancer and those in my family, along with all the beautiful survivors, I participated in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure on Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia to make a difference. I took on the role of the Team Captain for “Breast Friends for the Cure” and really tried to motivate my team, as well as posted on my Facebook wall to raise more awareness for the disease that affects us as women.

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MaryAnn believes that the best part of volunteering is meeting people along the way.

“I couldn’t wait to be part of an organization with such a great reputation — the work, the people and the volunteer opportunities,” says MaryAnn Kauk, a Prairies/NWT Region volunteer. “My dear friend Anika was affected by breast cancer approximately three years ago and the way she went on about the amazing support she received, well, I just wanted to be a part of it, so I decided to join the ranks of the volunteers. I try to do as much as I can and whatever I can. The best part of volunteering is that I get to meet so many nice people. I feel like I’m doing a very small part to give back.”

Since becoming an active member of CBCF’s volunteer team, MaryAnn’s support has been invaluable! She has a positive attitude, is reliable, and a leader. It’s true when she says she wants to do as much as she can, whenever she can, because over the past few years, she has given her time and skills in various roles, including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the Safeway Campaign, Golf Tournaments, the Women’s Show and now the Committee for Batting Against Breast Cancer.

We continue to be grateful to MaryAnn for her support and especially the way she motivates others — her passion is infectious!