This year’s Miles for Mammograms 5K/2K fundraiser will have a “Boot Scoot” theme and a start time of 9 a.m. at 801 N. Delaware near the Tom Mix Museum and historic Dewey Hotel.
This year’s Miles for Mammograms Honorary Chairperson is Jennifer Fenstermaker.
Jennifer’s story doesn’t begin with her, she said. Her story begins with the strong survivors in her family, who were diagnosed before her.
“Without a mammogram’s ability to detect cancer at early stages, I could be standing here today, not knowing I have cancer,” said Jennifer Fenstermaker. “It would be growing every day, but still maybe not large enough to feel. When would I have felt it? What toll would it have taken on my body by that time? Would it have been too late?”
The Miles for Mammograms annual 5K/2K will take place at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28 in downtown Dewey. The funds raised by Miles for Mammograms will directly support Family HealthCare Clinic’s Free Mammogram Program, providing free mammograms to women in the community who desperately need, but cannot afford, the screenings. Each year, Family HealthCare Clinic helps women detect often life-threatening medical concerns.
“I was just 13 years old when my mother was diagnosed,” Jennifer said. “My mother’s treatment included a mastectomy, chemo and radiation. So, I have been living with the effects of breast cancer for most of my life. But even with all that history, I still thought it wouldn’t happen to me, and it wasn’t something I gave much thought to.”
“When I turned 40, my doctor recommended I begin having annual mammograms. It was always a tense few days waiting for that all-clear call from my doctor’s nurse. I still remember the sinking feeling when that call came in 2018 and the voice on the other end was my doctor and not her nurse.”
“It was April and my middle son was a few weeks from high school graduation. We were so busy with the end of high school soccer season, banquets, prom, and all the other end-of-school activities that luckily, I didn’t have much time to dwell on the diagnosis,” Jennifer said. “Plus, I tried very hard to keep things normal for my husband and three sons and to make sure the end of Jonah’s senior year was all about him and he wouldn’t instead remember it as ‘the year my mom had breast cancer.’”
After Jennifer and her husband Jeff discussed all the options with her breast cancer doctor, they decided they would take the treatment option that provided the lowest chance of reoccurrence. Jennifer had a double mastectomy on May 30, 2018, five days after her son Jonah graduated from high school. She spent the next seven months having her skin stretched back out to make room for reconstructed breasts and had implants placed in December. Jennifer feels fortunate that, because of early detection, that was the extent of her treatment.
While Jennifer has medical insurance that allowed her to have access to medical care and a mammogram, not all women in our community have that opportunity. The Miles for Mammograms fundraiser assures that the option for breast health and mammogram screenings is available for anyone who might be at risk of breast cancer.
To register for the Miles for Mammograms 5K/2K or to donate by “Sleepin’ In” or to volunteer for the event, please visit www.milesformammograms.org or call Family HealthCare Clinic at 918-336-4822.