Health & Exercise


Breast cancer-two of the scariest words a woman will ever hear. When I heard those words from my doctor in June of 2006, my world felt like it was about to come crashing down.


Without the support of my family and my faith, I don’t think I would have been able to cope. I found hope for the future when I joined the American Cancer Society’ Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. I wanted to help raise awareness and funds to support the fight against breast cancer. I have met many breast cancer survivors in all stages of treatment, many of which have gone on to live long and fulfilling lives.

I have been cancer free for three years. When I talk to survivors that have been free of this disease for 15 and 20 years, it gives me hope that I too will have many more years ahead. That is why I feel so strongly about walking in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

The chance of a woman developing invasive breast cancer at some time in her life is about 1 in 8 or 12 percent. In 2009, an estimated 192,370 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die from the disease. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be a survivor of this dreaded disease, and I walk because I have 3 daughters, a daughter-in-law, and 3 granddaughters. It is my greatest hope that they never have to hear the words “you have breast cancer.”

On Saturday, October 3, 2009, I plan to walk beside my daughters, friends, colleagues, and fellow survivors at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Headwaters Park East. I urge everyone in Northeast Indiana to join our community as we make strides toward a future where breast cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease. To get involved or for more information,contact the American Cancer Society at 260-471-3911 or visit




Mary Esslinger

Breast Cancer Survivor

The Waynedale News Staff

Mary Esslinger

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