Why I Fundraise For MBC
I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 24.
My surgeon said, “Sam, it came back as a cancer. It’s going to be okay.”
That year I was rushed into chemotherapy, a partial mastectomy and a month of radiation.
I wore the pink, did the run and tried to go back to “normal.”
Throughout my year of treatment, my surgeons and oncologists didn’t discuss stage IV with me. So when I found a lump in my armpit I was taken off guard when I heard those words again, “Sam, it came back as cancer.”
This time followed by, “There is no cure.”
I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) at 26. My breast cancer had spread to my lungs, bones and brain. The mean survival time stage IV metastatic breast cancer is 2-3 years from diagnosis. Since my MBC diagnosis I have had whole brain radiation, two craniotomies, multiple chemotherapy treatments, trials and other surgeries.
Nothing will cure my cancer. It’s terminal. My life exists around three month increments of scans. I’ve been living for four years with MBC. I feel so lucky. (Why do I have to feel lucky?)
I knew I couldn’t live this way forever. Constant progression in my organs will not allow me to. So, while I still felt good, I made a promise to myself to advocate for MBC until I couldn’t anymore.
Last year, I realized my body wouldn’t allow me to do “the run.” Heck, I didn’t even like running pre-cancer diagnosis anyways! So, I took my passion for literacy and books and mixed it with my need to advance research in the stage IV community – the result was my fundraiser, Turning the Page on Cancer.
A read-a-thon! Eight hours straight of reading (two hours for littles!) with prizes for most fundraised, most pages read, best snack and best book nook!
Last year I raised $21,000 dollars by sharing my story and educating others about life with MBC. I wanted everyone to know the difference between early and late stage breast cancer.
In 2020, I paired up with Rethink so all of the money raised goes right to their MBC fund. I reached out to my new partner, Vesna (also living with MBC!) and together we are holding book related events leading up to the big day – October 25th.
If you have been touched by breast cancer in any way, join in the read-a-thon with your family. Educate others and spread the word about MBC (and really, who doesn’t want to have a cozy fall day reading with snacks and family surrounding you? I know I do!) – Sam Mitchell