'Take Time For Your Health' Encourages Breast Cancer Survivor
By 250 News
A sea of pink heads out from the Civic Centre Plaza for the 2013 Run for the Cure
Prince George, BC - To the cheers of all on-hand, breast cancer survivor, Lisa Norman, told the 350 participants gathered for this morning's Run for the Cure that she's been cancer-free for five years.
In dedicating her speech to both her nonna and her dear friend, Bev Thomson, 'smiling down on her', Norman shared her story...
"As I entered my early 40s, one of my sisters suggested to me - due to our family's terrible genetic hand and just good common sense - that I should be getting to the clinic for my annual mammogram."
"I hummed and I hawed and I wondered if the comedic jokes about the infamous 'squish' were real."
The Prince George mom of one (shown above with her 13-year-old daughter, Jordyn, and six-year-old nephew, Ethan Gilbert), said it was her first and last mammogram. After several follow up appointments and tests, she was diagnosed with stage one, grade three breast cancer. With family and friends by her side, she underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy.
"I was extremely lucky to have personal ties with Dr. Karen Gelmon at the BC Cancer Agency," said Norman. "Karen is one of the key breast cancer oncologists in North America and women are urged to read the book she co-authored upon being diagnosed. I knew I was in tremendously capable hands and that I was extremely blessed and today I stand here before you, five years cancer-free."
"My message is not a tear-filled one," she told the crowd. "But rather of encouragement for women and men to make time for health, take care of yourselves, be curious enough to question, be brave enough to act, get your mammogram and be proactive."
Norman said she cringes when she hears that many women avoid mammograms because they think it hurts too much and offered a poignant list of far more painful circumstances...
"I'm here to tell you that a mammogram hurts less than being alone in your doctor's office when you're diagnosed with breast cancer. A mammogram hurts less than going home to your parents to tell your devastated mom and dad that, yes, you have breast cancer - because no matter your age, you're still their little girl."
"A mammogram hurts less than sitting with your eight-year-old, one-and-only child and fighting back the tears as you bravely explain to her that her mom has breast cancer."
"A mammogram hurts less than watching your family and dear friends walk the path with you, with no one really knowing the way."
"As we celebrate today," Norman said, "We also remember those we have lost to this disease that respects no one."
"I conclude with just one small, but, perhaps, life-saving question, 'When is your next mammogram?'"
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