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10/04/2018

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What Would You Do For One More Day With Your Family Member?

by Andrea Peet Senior Physician Recruiter, TeamHealth

We all know someone that has been touched by breast cancer. According to Susan G. Komen:

  • Every two minutes in the United States, a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Every minute, somewhere in the world a woman dies from breast cancer. That is more than 1,400 woman every day.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States.
  • One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • One percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men.

I decided to take my stand against cancer back in 2006, after the experience of watching my mother and grandmother both be diagnosed with breast cancer. This was not our first time with this monster. My grandmother had also been diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1989. Back then, I did not completely understand the seriousness of her battle; She had a lumpectomy and several rounds of radiation. Fast forward to November of 2006, and my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer while my grandmother was diagnosed with the disease for a second time in December. WOW! How does the same disease hit my family three times and now only a month apart?

I was very active in the care of both my mother and grandmother. My mom had to have a double mastectomy with 12 weeks of chemotherapy. My grandmother was 80 years old and at this point in her life, they just did a mastectomy and did not follow up with chemotherapy, as it would have been too harsh on her body. With early detection, I had six more years with my mother before she passed from a meningioma, a non-cancerous brain tumor. She beat the big C, but could not beat the non-cancer brain tumor.

I was gifted with nine more years with my grandmother before she passed from kidney failure. I AM LUCKY, that I was offered this time with my family and know that this precious time was due to early detection. Last year, my female cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. She also had a lumpectomy and several weeks of radiation. She is only one year out and is now doing great.

I choose to walk to bring awareness to breast cancer. I choose to save one man or woman’s life. I choose to have a voice. I choose to walk until we find a cure for breast cancer.

Since joining TeamHealth in 2011, I have been able to continue walking in the Susan G. Komen, 3-Day, 60-mile walk. I attribute this to the love and support I receive from work family. While it is hard to train for this walk, it can also be difficult to ask for the required amount of donations to participate. However, not with my work family. I did a social media post and within a few days my colleagues donated generously to my cause and we met the minimum requirement. I am honored to work with such amazing individuals. I walk not only for my family, but for yours.

Some of the past 3-day walks have included:
2007 – Phoenix
2008 – Phoenix
2009 – Phoenix
2011 – Phoenix
2013 – Phoenix
2014 – San Diego
2016 – Seattle

I want someone else to have more years with his or her grandmother, mother, sister, aunt or best friend.

To learn more about how TeamHealth supports local communities and associates within those, visit TeamHealth Cares.