I have had the pleasure of working with Holly on her journey back to wellness since December 2009. She is an extraordinary woman with a tremendous capacity to give. Here is her story in her words.
Last June, I was diagnosed with Stage IIA Breast Cancer, and just like that my entire world was turned upside down. My treatments spanned about six months and included surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. When I was just about finished with the invasive treatments, an option was presented to participate in a three-year experimental bone drug treatment program. My first reaction was “No way! Are you kidding me? After all that, you want me to volunteer to be infused with more drugs, and experience serious side effects for three years with no guaranteed outcome?!?” I was really scared and I was really tired.
“Whatever it takes, whatever I can do…”
But, then I thought of all the women that came before me and participated in clinical trials so I could receive the care and survival probability that I did. I thought about the 190,000 women in the U.S. who will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer this year, and the 40,000 women and 440 men who will die from it. I then thought, “Whatever it takes, whatever I can do for the cause, for the fight, to end this disease.” And so I volunteered.
“I am not walking alone.”
It is with that spirit I am participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer taking place in San Francisco the weekend of July 10th. Just like with fighting cancer, I am not walking alone; my mother, my aunt, a family friend, and my dear friend and colleague will join me. We have all committed to raise the minimum of $1800 for this cause. During this journey, we will be thinking of those who have lost the battle and of those who fight fearlessly every day. Victory for us will be crossing the finish line and surpassing our fundraising goals, and we hope you will join us. Please take this opportunity to honor the women close to you by donating to the cause. There is no amount too small – every dollar really does help.
You can make a donation online by visiting my webpage on www.avonwalk.org (select “San Francisco” and then type in my name, Holly Marshall), or you can give me a check made out to “Avon Walk for Breast Cancer” when you see me in the gym, and I will make sure it gets to the right place. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support and encouragement. When we hit the road, we’ll know that you were a special part of our journey and of the journey of so many others. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information at [email protected]
Holly Marshall, 1st Year Survivor