With the support of volunteers, the American Cancer Society is helping save more than 400 lives every day. And one event that helps in accomplishing that is Relay for Life, going on right now at Lincoln's Haymarket Park.
Mary Foerster became involved with the ACS 18 years ago. She saw family members take on the cancer battle and felt it was the right thing to do. But, her passion for involvement skyrocketed in 2002.
"I heard those 3 words, you have cancer."
Yes, Mary had breast cancer. Since 2000 at the age of 35, she had been getting annual base-line mammograms due to family history, she calls them "birthday presents to herself.". But the results of this mammogram were not something to celebrate. It led to 2 surgeries, 4 rounds of 3 different types of chemo every 3 weeks, and 31 radiation treatments. Then, a drug that was funded by the American Cancer Society, Tamoxifin. She thought her battle with cancer was over.
But, in 2004, it was time for her birthday present to herself once again - this time it included an ultrasound, and it showed cysts on her ovaries. She tried Lupron therapy for 3 months to try and shrink the cysts, which didn't work. Could it be cancer again, possibly? More decisions needed to be made. In 2005, she had a complete hysterectomy. The results came back negative. Flash forward to 2014.
"I actually went to my oncologist appointment last month and he said, 'I don't think I need to see you anymore'."
But Mary's journey battling cancer is not over. In fact, it will never be. She will always be fighting the fight with the American Cancer Society. It's a part of her.
"I call it my relay family, my ACS family. I get to meet great people all across the U.S. that are fighting for the same cause - to end and find a cure for cancer."
Visit www.relayforlife.org to find out when and where the next Relay for Life is taking place.