I am a cancer survivor. Three years ago, a week after returning from my honeymoon, I was diagnosed with stage II esophageal cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, I had a surgery that removed half of my stomach and 85% of my esophagus. The surgery required me to miss 3.5 months of work, and after it was all said and done, I was given a prognosis five-year survival rate of 50%. Today, I deal with some side effects, such as not being able to eat what I used to and having scars on my chest and neck area, but otherwise am happy to say that three years later, I am still cancer-free! I'm also excited to share that my wife and I are expecting our first child, a girl, in October this year.
The Wilmot Warrior Walk's primary fundraising efforts are for the Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program, which helps those who are ending their treatment and transitioning into survivorship. It helps survivors understand follow-up care they will need, such as how frequently they will need scans moving forward, as well as how to manage common physical and mental side effects that can last years after treatment ends and what resources are available to survivors in the community. This year, some of the funds from the walk will also support cancer research at Wilmot to help find new cures and treatments. This is cancer research happening right at home, meaning our families, friends and neighbors who face cancer now or down the road may be directly impacted by it.
The Warrior Walk is scheduled for Sunday, September 11 at Highland Park. It includes a 10k run, 5k run, or a 1-mile family walk and post-event celebration with bounce houses, food, live music etc. Last year, the HeidiStrong team for The Bonadio Group was the top fundraising team at the event, raising over $10,000. I'm excited to participate again this year.
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