Home » Featured, Michelle Reese

Breast cancer hits home for many

Posted by on October 7, 2011 – 1:30 pm

My aunt is a breast cancer survivor.
To celebrate her accomplishment, her two daughters and I hiked the Grand Canyon in 2001 with her.
It was the longest 14 hours of my life – and that was going DOWN the Canyon (believe it or not it took about half the time to go up). When we got to the bottom, it was 122 – the hottest day of the year there.
It was grueling, exhausting, and at times, I admit, I didn’t think we could do it.
Much like her battle with this disease, we faced a challenge and met it.
This weekend, more than 30,000 participants will take part in the 19th annual Komen Race for the Cure. Renee McClure of Gilbert is leading the efforts this year as the chairwoman. Her mother died of disease at 45 – just five years older than I am. Her “auntie,” mother-in-law and step mother-in-law either are or have undergone treatment for breast cancer.
It’s not just a women’s disease. McClure told me they estimate 2,000 men will be diagnosed in the next year.
If you can, take a moment to read McClure’s story and why she is proud that her 3-year-old knows her mommy “fights to save lives and boobies.”
And if you can, go out and cheer the runners – and the survivors – this weekend.


  • yes I can totally relate after my own struggles with

  • Deb Smith says:

    Our local salon, Luxe Salon & Spa in Chandler is offering pink hair extensions with 100% of the proceeds going to support Breast Cancer Research in a great way. They have teamed up with Lady La, a morning personality on 101.5 FM, and the money that they raise is to sponsor her TEAM LADY LA as they participate in the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 29th. The Salon is also offering pink tinsels and pink feathers along with the extensions, but if hair products aren’t your thing, the have a great Pink Sugar Scrub Pedicure too. This Saturday my 9-year-old daughter decided to invest her savings (a couple of weeks of allowance and tooth fairy money) and got two pink extensions in honor of her Nonna (Grandmother) who we lost to breast cancer the year she was born. I was very proud, but she is much prouder that she made the choice on her own to do something more meaningful with her money and it didn’t hurt to get the cool extensions that I gave in on just this once. Anyway, it is going on all month and I think it is a fun and meaningful way for kids to get involved and “support the boobies” as my daughters also say … Thanks for the opportunity! Debra Smith

  • Misty Brown says:

    Yes cuz, I didn’t think we would make it either!!! That was the longest 14 hours of my life – and I can say that after having 6 children, birthing 5 of them naturally! :) We are SO thankful and Praise GOD that Mom is still with us . . . a nearly 12 year cancer survivor!!! :) Thanks for all you do my sweet cousin! :)

  • Phyllis Borkholder says:

    I’m the “Aunt” in the above story. How sweet of you, Michelle, to write about our very difficult hike DOWN the Grand Canyon because of the heat. I remember how fearful we were because we’d been told that the hike out would take us twice as long as the hike down. We got up at 3:30 a.m. to break camp and leave some of our supplies (2 30# packs) for the mules to carry to the top–well worth the extra money! We started our upward trek by 4:45 a.m. We were surprised to be at Indian Gardens which is the half way point before 7 a.m. and then to be at the top by 11:30 a.m.! This trip celebrated two cancer survivors as my youngest daughter is a melanoma survivor. Neither of us have allowed CANCER to define our lives and it has made us both aware that we need to pursue our dreams and live life to the fullest. None of us is guaranteed a long life. We were both fortunate that our cancers were discovered early and that makes all the difference in the outcome of most cancers. With that said and because this is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I would encourage all females reading this to schedule your mammogram and do your monthly breast exams. It could be a matter of life or death! And as Michelle mentioned, this isn’t only a woman’s disease. Men, if you discover a lump in your breast or have any other symptoms (nipples inverting, puckering, etc.), please get it checked out by a physician.

    This trip was the fulfillment of a life-long (at least since my teen years!) dream and I’m thankful that both my daughters and my niece accompanied me on this journey! What memories we have!

  • bizgal says:

    My support and prayers will always be for all the men and women who are facing their struggles with this disease. I admire those who are extending their help and support and those who continue to inspire those who are still battling with the disease.