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City Parking Lot
South 5th Street & Magee Avenue
Jeannette, PA US 15644
2018 – A year I will never forget! – What an understatement! I was excited to ring in 2018 – primarily because 18 is MY lucky number! I’ve waited for this year - this was MY year, MY lucky year.
However, MY lucky year began with a breast cancer diagnosis in the very first month of 2018. Although the year certainly hasn’t played out as I had envisioned, I still consider myself lucky. I feel lucky for multiple reasons, but most importantly because my breast cancer was caught early. During a self-breast exam I discovered a lump! I have no immediate family history and, because of my age, I’d never had a mammogram. If you take nothing else away from reading my story, my hope is that you know your body and follow through with doctor appointments and testing. Early detection is incredibly important and as I often say - ‘I totally got this’!
I never envisioned I would be 39 years old and diagnosed with cancer, but regardless of your age, no one ever wants to hear those words. On January 23, 2018, I received that phone call confirming what I knew in my gut - my entire world changed. I HAD BREAST CANCER! I immediately went into action. I was on the phone within hours and three days later, I sat at Magee-Women’s Hospital having blood work, tests and met a team of doctors. I had a successful surgery on March 8 and began 16 cycles of chemo on April 12. Radiation is scheduled for this fall and additional surgeries will follow next year. My hope is to have this entire chapter of my life in my rear view mirror by the end of summer 2019.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and who I truly am as an individual. Learning to be my own advocate and speaking up for myself has allowed me to grow more than I ever imagined. It has been important for me to maintain as much normalcy as possible, specifically for my children, Nicholas (10), Addison (5) and Easton (3). Our household anthem is ‘The Champion’ by Carrie Underwood. When we get in the car and they request that song and I see them singing and dancing, it brings tears to my eyes. I’ve been blessed to have the strength to continue to work full time and, on the majority of days, I forget I’m dealing with this unexpected hurdle.
The on-going prayers, love, and support that I receive from my family and friends is incredible. I am so blessed and thankful for each of them! I am specifically thankful for the selfless individuals who took the idea of having a 5K in my honor and through their endless hours of hard work turned this idea into a reality – the Fight Like Kelly 5K! They are truly remarkable individuals and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Over the past three years, running has been a big part of my life. Therefore, running (or walking!) with you in the Fight Like Kelly 5K will be a memorable experience for me. I so look forward to this event!
The proceeds of the Fight Like Kelly 5K event will be donated to ‘A Glimmer of Hope Foundation’, which is based in Pittsburgh and has a strong emphasize on awareness in younger women. All funds raised within this organization remain in the Pittsburgh area and the generosity is felt throughout the community. (http://www.symbolofthecure.com) Thank you for your time and support in making this event a huge success!