By Jenn Nudelman
Breast cancer runs deep in my family. My grandmother died from this disease and I have two aunts who are survivors. I was at my grandmother’s bedside when she lost her battle to breast cancer. She fought it hard.
Just two and a half weeks after my diagnosis, I somehow found the strength to walk 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. I walked the 3-Day again this year, and I was honored to be a part of the Survivor Circle and carry a flag into the Seattle Center field. I also spoke during the Saturday night Camp show. It was a great opportunity to make people aware of the local Komen affiliate and the work we do in the Puget Sound community.
With my family history, I have been as diligent as I can with my yearly mammograms and check-ups. In fact, when breast cancer finally struck, the lump in my breast was so small that it was only detected through a mammogram. When I heard the news from my radiologist, even with my knowledge of my family history, I was shocked.
In one way, breast cancer was a blessing for me. I was laid off half way through my breast cancer treatment so, once I started feeling better, I had the time to volunteer for Komen Puget Sound. Although I love my new job with T-Mobile, volunteering with Komen Puget Sound gives me a real sense of joy and purpose in my life.
As a volunteer, I dedicate most of my efforts to Komen educational outreach efforts. Seeing from my grandmother what breast cancer can do, I knew I had to help prevent another person having to go through the same experience.
It is almost alarming how many people we meet at our outreach events who still do not know how to detect and prevent breast cancer. People say the breast cancer awareness job is done, but that is just not true! So many women put off their mammograms, not realizing a mammogram can save their life.
I was at a Pierce County Survivor Conference. A woman made a point of telling me how a Komen grant helped pay for her utilities while she was going through treatment, and what a difference it made for her. She just wanted to say “thank you” to me, to Komen. That day I saw, first hand, the good work Komen does.
Jenn has lived in Issaquah/Sammamish for 13 years. At T-Mobile, she is a senior tax manager – tax audit & controversy.