Guest Post from Breast Cancer Survivor Patty Steele

Patty Steele Cropped
We are excited to honor CBS Radio Co-Host Patty Steele at our New Jersey Harvest Moon Dinner on Sunday, November 5th. Patty shares her journey through breast cancer…
My run in with breast cancer began in July of 2014. Little did I know that, as one of the biggest challenges in my life, it would also become my greatest opportunity for growth as a person. One of my go to affirmations at the time, as it continues to be, is a quote from Albert Camus . .

“In the depth of winter
I finally learned
That there was within me
An invincible summer.”

When we’re presented with challenges in life, we learn to recognize and access that invincible summer . . .our own strength and the strength of those around us. I found new depth and beauty in my relationships with my family, my friends, my co-workers, and even total strangers. I discovered an enormous group of people dedicated to the cause of defeating breast cancer and to helping the women and men impacted by it, to triumph both physically and psychologically. What a beautiful lesson to learn!  My doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Mt. Sinai’s Dubin Breast Center never failed to maintain an astonishing sense of joy and purpose.

Here I am about 3 years after my surgery and follow up chemo, incredibly well, incredibly happy, and incredibly strong. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this experience and where it’s taken me . . but most especially for the people who’ve given so much intellectually, financially, and emotionally to make amazing strides against this disease. It’s because of you that moving beyond this can be my experience and the experience of thousands of women and men who are touched by breast cancer. Whether you’re on the hospital battlefields, in the business of raising funds for the fight and out reach, or volunteering to run or work events, you are an angel and you have my undying gratitude.

We hope you can join us as we honor Patty at our New Jersey Harvest Moon Dinner on November 5th. For details and tickets, please click here.

Patient Update: “I knew I would come out the other side just fine.”

Paul FitzpatrickWhen Paul was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in 2008, he wasn’t sure where to turn. “It was quite a shock being diagnosed with cancer at 27, and I felt like I’d been thrown into completely uncharted waters. But the doctors who the T.J. Martell Foundation referred me to at Mount Sinai in Manhattan took fantastic care of me. It was clear from the start that they were the experts in their field. When another team first recommended an aggressive course of chemo that could have been debilitating, Dr. James Holland reviewed my case and recommended a less invasive course of oral chemo so I never missed a day of work because of side effects.”

That was almost nine years ago, and Paul is now in remission. At the time, his doctors were unsure what quality of life he would be able to maintain longterm. But he has since welcomed three beautiful children and a few summers ago he rode 105 miles to support cancer patients and survivors in his home state of Connecticut.

“I don’t want to trivialize anything, but looking back almost a decade later, it almost feels like a non-event,” says Paul. “Thanks to the talented people at the T.J. Martell Foundation, I knew from the beginning of this process that I would come out the other side just fine.”

 

Congratulations to cancer survivor, IRONMAN Jan Swenson!

Jan

Our heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to Jan Swenson, who competed in the IRONMAN Lake Placid this past weekend just one year after beating cancer. Jan used his months of training as a platform to raise funds for our leukemia, cancer and AIDS research, and our foundation is grateful for the almost $7,000 raised by family, friends, coworkers and strangers in honor of this inspirational athlete.

We love the hashtag created to commemorate this incredible accomplishment on social media (#CancerHasGotNothingOnIronJan) and feel his wife says it best when she commends the way he “consciously chose not to be a victim of cancer. To fight, to conquer that chemo process, and come back stronger than ever.” Way to go, Jan!

Jan Swenson Competes This Weekend in IRONMAN Syracuse!

20160613_122638_1465835963034Despite a shoulder injury that took him away from training for about a week, cancer survivor Jan Swenson was able to get back to his routine last week and successfully competed a 100-mile bike ride through Morris and Hunterdon County in New Jersey.

This weekend he will be racing in the IRONMAN Syracuse 70.3 and we’ll be sure to post photos when he’s done. Jan is excited to debut his new custom T.J. Martell race kit created by Peal Izumi.

The IRONMAN Lake Placid is less than six weeks away. Don’t forget to donate here to Jan’s fundraising efforts so we can continue to support life-saving leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

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Guest Blog Post: Update from our IronMan!

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Our friend Jan Swenson, a courageous cancer survivor, is training for this year’s IronMan and donating all proceeds to our foundation. Read on for an exciting update from Jan! 

Wooo-Hoo!! I just received the 6-month “All Clear!” from my Oncologist. It made me rethink where I am in my Journey to Ironman in July and the frustration I feel that I am not faster/ stronger at this point.

20150703_114059It was just about 6 months ago that I had chemicals designed to kill me coursing through by body, the steroids and anti-nausea medications that all have side effects. From the hair loss to weight gain, this was a very stressful time for my body.

 

 

But 6 months out from this and where am I?

12509180_10207967913811985_8773905894292326708_nI am a Disney Dopey Challenge finisher (48.6 miles of running over 4 days).

I am training 10-12 hours a week on top of maintaining my work schedule.

I am eating healthier than I ever have.

It is easy to let the frustrations of the moment cloud your mind with fear and impatience for a body that just went through chemotherapy. I have an ambitious personality and I have set some goals that I would like to hit for July. Finishing Ironman (hopefully faster than I did in 2013, but would be satisfied to finish strong) and raising at least $5,000 for The TJ Martell Foundation (if you don’t know who they are check them out, they are moving some big mountains in researching treatments and cures).

I posted one time on this and with your help we raised about $2,500, and currently at $2,715!!! I want to thank all of the people who have generously donated so far and look forward to thanking everyone who will follow this link to donate. No amount is to big or small. And everything helps.https://donate.tjmartell.org/fundraise?fcid=570733