Breast cancer survivor Shannon B. will be making her Susan G. Komen 3-Day debut in Chicago this year. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, recently undergoing reconstruction surgery and raising over $32,000 to date, Shannon is ready to take on 60 miles and join the Pink Bubble.
What is your connection to breast cancer?
I was diagnosed with stage 2, HER2+ breast cancer in October 2020, had 6 rounds of TCHP chemo, a full year of Herceptin, a bi-lateral mastectomy with 7 lymph nodes removed, 28 radiation treatments, and most recently, reconstruction surgery.
Why did you sign up for the 3-Day?
Ironically, I have felt so lucky and privileged through this whole process of having support, good insurance, a flexible employer, and a “best possible outcome” of being cancer-free with a low chance of recurrence. I know that SO MANY others have it much harder than I have, and I feel like I NEED to do something to help others fight breast cancer and fund research that has helped save my life. My oncologist told me that just 10-15 years ago HER2+ breast cancer was one of the deadliest because they didn’t yet know how to treat it. It’s because of research, trials, and the incredible individuals before me that my medical team knew the exact path forward to get me to this cancer-free stage.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
More than anything I hope to make a difference, so others don’t have to deal with this disease, the treatments, side effects, surgeries, etc. Or if they do, maybe the money I raise can help make it just a little bit easier by helping with medical bills, transportation, etc.
How did you raise so much money in such a short period of time?
I am no fundraising superstar, but am surrounded by incredible people in my personal and professional life. I have worked at the same company for over 10 years and have built amazing relationships with people all over the country. My family and friends have never wavered in their support. I created a fundraiser on Facebook and posted on LinkedIn and Instagram. My birthday and anniversary of my last TCHP chemo treatment is coming up so I hope to do a few posts to bring in another wave of donations. I have raised A LOT of money, but it still wouldn’t cover the cost of one of my chemo treatments pre-insurance.
What are you most looking forward to regarding the event?
I am looking forward to being surrounded by others who are so committed to the cause that they are willing to sacrifice their time and energy to this incredible challenge. And selfishly, I am walking with one of my best friends and I can’t wait to have three days together! What am I least looking forward to (not that you asked)? I am a crier and will likely be crying 80% of the three days; it will be a hard weekend emotionally.
What advice would you like to seek or questions you’d like to ask from any veteran walkers?
Please tell me the blisters are avoidable! I can and have survived a lot, but I am a big wimp when it comes to blisters!
Do you have any advice for Shannon or any other first-time walkers? Tell us your best tips and tricks for conquering the 3-Day in the comments!