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Kate’s Road to EMMC’s Champion the Cure Challenge

My Road to the Challenge:          EMHC_7617_champion_the_cure_challenge_logo_spot_1114

Watch Kate’s Story on YouTube!

My first brush with cancer was when my daughter Megan was born. I was a 23 year old, first time mother. At her discharge physical from the hospital, her pediatrician found a mass in her abdomen. We were not going to be able to take our beautiful baby girl home that day as we had planned. At that time, EMMC didn’t have a neonatal unit; we were sent to Portland immediately to meet with a pediatric oncologist who diagnosed a tumor on her right adrenal gland with 90% certainty. We were told to expect 9 months to a year of chemotherapy.

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Kate and her daughter Megan.

It is a heart wrenching experience to walk your newborn to an operating room  door. She tolerated the surgery well, and we spent every waking moment with her while we waited for her pathology report. My mother had dropped everything and met us in Portland. I was numb and operating on autopilot. She asked the docs and nurses all the right questions and made sure I was taking care of myself while the medical professionals were taking care of Megan.

It was the best possible news. It wasn’t a tumor; it was an adrenal cyst. There would be no chemo. We could take our baby girl home.

I promptly put cancer out of my mind.

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Out of the blue four years later, my mother was rushed to the ER in terrible pain. It was discovered that she had a tumor on her right kidney. The kidney had to be removed. She received radiation treatment for months at EMMC’s CancerCare.

I remember seeing both of my daughters, ages 4 and 1 at the time, sitting with my mom on her hospital bed and found myself wondering how I could possibly raise them without her guidance and support.

Once again, fortune smiled upon us. My mom has been cancer free for over 20 years now. My daughters adore their Mammy, and have been blessed to share birthdays, graduations, weddings, and all their special events with her. I’m so grateful she was around to help all of us survive adolescence!

Megan and her Mammy

Megan and her Mammy

I have often wondered how different would my life have been without my mother in it. In recent years, I have seen so many of my friends lose their mothers to cancer. They were all too young. Their families have been devastated by the loss.

I became a grandmother myself recently. It has been yet another milestone I have been able to share with my mother, who has been fortunate enough to meet her first great granddaughter.

I take the Challenge to find a cure for cancer so every family has the opportunity to make the kind of memories my family has had the opportunity to make.

Mammy and the Frasers 2013

Please join us on August 15 and 16th when “All Roads Lead to Champion the Cure Challenge!

New Owner’s Event

The other day, I had the opportunity to go to the New Owner’s Event at Down East Toyota- Scion. Though I’d so love to say that I was one of the new car owners, especially one of the new 2014 Toyota Corollas, I wasn’t. My title for the event was the newly hired Marketing Assistant, also known as “The New Kid.” Though I attended as a part of my orientation to the dealership, I probably enjoyed myself as much as the new Toyota owners did.

The floor opened with dealership experts speaking about and explaining the different benefits the new owners became eligible for as soon as they purchased their vehicle. Vehicle warranties, servicing, and maintenance were all explained, and specific questions from the new owners were answered as they came up.

New Owner's Event

Downeast Toyota’s Spring New Owner’s Event

It got really fun when all of the owners were divided up into groups according to the vehicle type they had purchased. I decided to go ahead and live my dream, if just for the evening, and went along with the Corolla owners. We were guided through the campus of Down East Toyota and got to see many demonstrations that aligned with the topics that were talked about at the beginning of the event. We were shown a tire alignment test, samples of tires of varying wear, samples of old and new air filters and cabin air filters, and were always able to have our questions answered.

After seeing the service center, the body shop, and the drive up service garage, the evening came to a close with some give-a-ways, gifts and a final presentation. For this presentation we were escorted out to the parking lot where a funny looking package was set up 30 or 40 feet away from us.

Airbag Deployment

Air bag demonstration.

This package was an undeployed air bag that was fired off on the count of three with a huge BANG! I couldn’t believe how quickly that thing deployed, or that I would get to see something that impressive happen  my third day on the job!

-Beth, Marketing Assistant at Down East Toyota Scion