For the past two years I have been extremely proud to put together a team for my sister, Kate. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer 20 months ago. Kate has beaten the odds time and time again; she continues to surprise her doctors and nurses. If it weren’t for people like us, collecting donations and participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, Kate may never have been given the opportunities and treatments she has been so fortunate to have.
Colleen Curtis was the survivor guest speaker at the 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Mississauga on Oct. 6.
Well, this was a pretty unique weekend. Around this time, I always think about my friends who had breast and ovarian cancer. This year it was my turn. On Friday, Oct. 4 I had a partial mastectomy. From a routine mammogram to biopsy and then surgery – so much was happening so quickly that I didn’t have the chance to stop and think about what was actually happening to me.
We tend to put off a lot in life, all the while time marches on and diligently away. We say we’re going to save things for a rainy day, for a special occasion or for when we have more time. At the age of 34 I have lost my mother, both of my grandmothers, my great aunt, my aunt, my uncle, a college and high school friend to varying forms of cancer. And I have more family and friends still fighting courageously with every ounce of strength they have.
On May 31st, 2005, after several tests while home in Cape Breton, I received the call that I had Adeno Carsenoma; the beginning stages of breast cancer. I was 27, and I had cancer. There was an influx of emotion that ran through me but after a 30 second cry, I looked at my mom and said; mom this is it, “I am kickin’ cancer in the ass with my stilettos”. From that day forward I made it my number 1 goal in life to create awareness about breast cancer.
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