Twenty years ago, my husband, Lyndon, and I joined Team Heather - a team in the Susan G. Komen [then] National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C. - and began supporting our son-in-law, Shawn Gardner, in keeping a promise he made to his sister, Heather. On her deathbed, Shawn pledged to his 26-year old sister to do all he could to eradicate the disease that was stealing her from her family.
Being a part of Team Heather, participating in the fundraising of over $600,000, and attending the race each year surrounded by thousands of survivors proudly and bravely donning their pink “survivor” shirts, have been among the most rewarding experiences of my life. Then, in January of 2020, after investing so much energy and emotion and resources into this fight for a cure, I received the devastating news that I’d been diagnosis with Triple-Negative, Stage 4 Breast Cancer.
My cancer is not curable, but treatable. Meaning, I will be living with cancer, and be receiving treatments for that cancer, for the rest of what is left of my life. After twenty years of raising money and awareness and consciousness of this disease in order to help others, I am now on the difficult mission to help myself, and, in doing so, help the countless other women out there who are facing a similar diagnosis and future and fight. In the last two years, I have been treated with several different types of chemotherapy. Thankfully, I’ve had positive results.
Thanks to a ground-breaking drug, in large part funded by the work of Susan G. Komen, and the funds raised by Team Heather’s efforts, all of my original tumors were resolved, and I had no evidence of the disease for six months at the end of 2021.
Unfortunately, as of January of 2022, my cancer is back, and I’m on a new treatment. Lyndon and I are hopeful that this new treatment will present the same encouraging results, and I’m humbled that my battle against breast cancer has been - and will continue to be - aided by the generosity and kindness of donors like you.
To past donors who have helped to make this possible, thank you! To folks who are considering making a donation of any amount, thank you. To the researchers, scientists, and doctors who create magic with the funds you donate, thank you. To my husband, for all his unending support and love, thank you.
If you are so inclined, kindly consider making a donation of any amount, today. Your donation will be used in the best possible ways in this fight against breast cancer; I’m a walking example of that.
Yours in appreciation
Lee Ann Barron
Breast Cancer Fighter/Survivor