Metastatic People in the News
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November 21, 2015
By The Mary Kay Foundation
Fearless Fighter Inspires While Facing Metastatic Breast Cancer
Mary Kay Independent Senior Sales Director Mary Ann LeRay cherishes the many life-changing relationships her Mary Kay business has brought her. In the spirit of giving back, she uses her business as a platform to help end cancers effecting women—and specifically to advocate for those with metastatic breast cancer.
One of the biggest blessings that has come from my Mary Kay business is having the privilege to cross paths with so many extraordinary, dynamic people who are determined to create positive change. My customers are remarkable women and men who have a lifelong impact on me.
During the past year, my friend and customer Virginia “Beth” Fairchild has particularly touched my heart. Beth, a mother, wife, daughter, friend, business owner and an artist, recently added fearless fighter and breast cancer patient advocate roles to her life.
August 1, 2015
By Rebecca Hyman, easton.wickedlocal.com
Barbara Bigelow and her husband Tim walked into a jewelry store in Wickford, R.I. recently and were both drawn to the same Indian amulet.
The silver pendant is decorated with an image of Durga, the warrior goddess, riding her tiger. She is strong and beautiful and full of rage, Barbara Bigelow said.
Tim Bigelow bought it for his wife immediately.
She has stage IV metastatic breast cancer. The average life expectancy for someone with her condition is 26 months, she said. Bigelow says she plans to fight until the end even though it is a battle she does not expect to win.
She will fight not because she is afraid of death, but because she loves life, she said.
Barbara Bigelow is a warrior.
July 16, 2015
By PAULA VINCENT, RN, CNM , Cure Magazine
IT’S HARD TO FIND a silver lining when you’ve been told you have cancer for the second time. This is my life now. I hold tight to the belief that I am a survivor who is living with, not dying from, metastatic breast cancer. This helps provide the balance, hope and gratitude I try to find in every moment and with each person who is a part of my life and recovery.
Within a short time after starting treatment, I realized the “fit” wasn’t right with both the oncologist I had been assigned to and the oncology nurse that had been caring for me. I knew this time around that I needed to be both mentally and physically prepared for the hardest battle I had ever fought, and l knew with even more certainty I needed a team of warriors who would always be by my side throughout treatments that would never finish.
July 16, 2015
By Nick Mulcahy, Medscape Medical News
The pink culture of breast cancer is about to get an infusion of red hot.
A small but growing group of women with metastatic breast cancer and their supporters have formed MET UP, an activist group modelled on the confrontational AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and sharing the same inspiration of anger, rebellion, and fellowship/sisterhood.
"MET UP is…committed to direct action for a viable cure for breast cancer. We protest and demonstrate," reads a portion of the group's mission statement, which was recently posted online.
June 9, 2015
By The Huffington Post, Leigh Weingus
In 2012, Holley Kitchen was diagnosed with breast cancer. After being treated with a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation and hormone therapy, she thought her cancer battle was over. But in November of 2013, she was told her breast cancer returned and had spread to her spine and bones.
Kitchen now has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, an aggressive form that spreads outside the breast. In hopes of informing people about breast cancer and everything she and other women living with breast cancer are going through, Kitchen put together a three-minute video in which she silently presents written facts while Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" plays in the background. Since she posted it to Facebook, Kitchen's video has gotten over 43 million views.
October 15, 2014
By Press Release
NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On National Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day, October 13, the MBC Alliance revealed the results of their Landscape Report, Changing the Landscape for People Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. The MBC Alliance, representing 29 cancer organizations, releases the report on its one-year anniversary after a comprehensive year-long analysis of current MBC research and patient needs, as well as information and services.
October 14, 2014
By chad Estes, Idaho Statesman
Last October I partnered with my friend Trina Klier-Murri and three other Idaho women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) to write an article for the Idaho Statesman that shared the difficulties of coping with the disease. In a culture full of pink awareness, save-our-boobies campaigns and "a portion of the proceeds will benefit" merchandising, the realities of MBC too often go unnoticed. Cancer, when it is contained in the breast tissue, is a life-altering bully, but if it escapes to a person's organs, it can be a killer.
October 7, 2014
By Deep Haven (MN) Life
Team Judy is a band of friends who got to know each other as many friends do--with children in school together or homes in the same neighborhood. They shared ideas on best parenting practices. They volunteered. They worked hard to make their schools and
their community a better place, and not just for their own children.
They fought for referendums and created pilot programs in our district. Using their skills, and savvy, and being stronger for having each other, there was nothing that this group could not manage. At times it seems these women could run a small country. Today, they are facing a whole new set of challenges.
Judy Erdahl grew up in a lot of places, and says that she wanted to stay in a place where she can be part of a community. Where her life and her work will contribute something, and make a difference.
Judy currently has Stage Four Breast Cancer. There is no Stage Five. If you want to get this group riled up, talk to them about Metastatic Breast Cancer.
August 28, 2014
By chicago Tribune
Joani Gudeman, a psychotherapist, immersed herself into activities with the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network after being diagnosed with the disease.
She served on the organization's board, helped plan three of its annual conferences and edited a series of first-person stories by those living with the disease.
May 15, 2014
By Wendy Leonard, Utah Deseret News
SOUTH JORDAN — Michelle Thompson is knee-deep into stage 4 cancer, but you wouldn't know it from looking at her.
Her silver-blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes are just as bright as they were prior to the presumably devastating diagnosis in early 2013.
"I have this cancer that is supposed to mean a long, slow decline, but, all of a sudden, I'm feeling better," Thompson said. "I am reversing a no-reversible trend, and that sort of thing makes you happy."
It helps, too, that she's pushing herself to be better every day, including employing a newly FDA-approved procedure that eliminates her most hearty source of pain — tumors that dot her radiation-plagued broken spine.
Approximately 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year, and two-thirds will develop bone metastasis, with the spine being the most common site, according to the International Journal of Surgical Oncology. The painful spine tumors are particularly prevalent in breast cancer patients, like Thompson.