Jennifer Wardwell

Tri for a Cure 2017

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Our cancer story began a couple years ago. Ironically, after finding a lump in my own breast (benign, thankfully) my Mom was motivated to do her own exam. She found a lump and after a series of mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies she was diagnosed with HER2+ breast cancer - a very aggressive form of the disease requiring multiple rounds of intensive chemotherapy, surgery and radiation with little recovery time in between.

This is where our village came in. 

We all had jobs. I was the organizer, the notetaker, the reasearcher - the one with broad shoulders who, at times, balanced caregiver with ass kicker. Then came the sisters, friends, neighbors, family, strangers, co-workers, business owners and everyone else you can think of from a small town. 

There was a benefit dinner held in the high school gym to raise funds to purchase a generator for the old farmhouse and help fill the gap of lost wages from time away from work due to treatment and surgery. Wood was piled, driveways and walkways plowed and cleared, meals made, cleaning done, discounts provided for utilities and other services; friends and family kept her company and stayed overnight on treatment days to ensure she was okay. Co-workers kept an eye on her and sent her home when she pushed herself a bit too far. They were my eyes and ears from two hours away. There were many, many, many more wonderful acts of kindness - big and small for which we are eternally grateful. 

Mom hasn't had a lot of breaks in her life. But in this case, the scars provided the strength she needed to beat the hell out of this disease. She is one of the strongest people I have ever met and even though she will likely fight this terrible disease for the rest of her life, she is with us today because of the amazing care she received, not only from her village, but the wonderful team of doctors, nurses and surgeons who helped along the way. 

I Tri for a Cure to ensure my Mom and thousands like her have more time with the people they love, doing the things they love, living the life they love. And I Tri to get back to the core athlete I lost some time ago - to prove it to myself once again that I can do anything I set my mind to. This race is for both of us. 

Please support this journey.

Cheers to health, and to finding a cure!

With love and thanks for your generosity and support - 

Jennifer

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