by Jon Persson
The life of Terri Brodeur walks on symbolically in the hearts of those she loved and those she touches still. On Saturday, October 6, three groups of people gather at three locations in memory of the young woman most never knew, to walk and run in defiance of the cancer that took her life.
Terri Brodeur was 39 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, a wife and mother at that place in life where mysteries and challenges have been answered and met. The unsettling news set her life on an unexpected course, where science joins with hope and time becomes a precious enemy.
The 2012 Terri Brodeur Walk finishes at Camp Harkness in Waterford, after starts in Old Saybrook, East Lyme, and Niantic, which measure out to a full, half, and quarter marathon. This is not a contest of speed, though, it is a race against free radical cells, unknown risk factors, and environmental pollution; it’s also a march for better treatment, improved medicines, earlier detection, greater awareness. The Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation raises funds to fight breast cancer, and the 2012 Walk attracts 300 participants, 200 volunteers, and raises enough money to write three more research grants of two years duration each.
In the fight against breast cancer, the foundation says, much progress has been made, largely through the effects of research and better information. Women are more aware than ever of the imperative of early detection. Surgeries have become more precise, medication and treatment more effective, cure rates higher and lives longer.
Terri Brodeur has come to epitomize the essence of hope, and of positive, determined, joyful life. Though she passed on at 41, she left a legacy of light and hope; today there is much reason for optimism.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there is much critical information at the website: www.terribrodeurbreastcancerfoundation.org.