Healthy Living

Komen for the Cure volunteers: A family affair

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Treatment for breast cancer usually includes surgery, chemotherapy and sometimes radiation. But one local survivor says you need something else: Inspiration. That's why she and her family volunteer every year at the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

Fifteen years since Carla Cammack of Fountain Valley survived stage 3 breast cancer, but she's been part of the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure even longer.

"This will be our 16th year volunteering, the whole family," said Carla.

Her daughter Marie is the Orange County race chair. Her husband, Robert, is T-shirt captain, and daughter Carrie is a pledge captain.

"I walked in my first Race for the Cure when I was still a bald chemotherapy patient," said Carla. Since then: "The survival rate for stage 1 breast cancer is now 98 percent. When I was diagnosed it was, I believe, more like 85 percent," said Carla.

She feels proud to be part of that. Seventy-five percent of money raised stays in the community to pay for local patient programs. The rest goes to the Komen National Research Fund.

But on race day, what Carla and her family value most is the inspiration they get from the thousands of other survivors.

"It's hope. It's such a positive, positive reinforcement that 'I will survive this disease, I am going to survive this disease,'" said Carla.

"It gives you goose bumps just the amount, the sheer quantity, of people coming together for one cause. You can't help but be moved by that," said Marie.

Carla was diagnosed at age 44, so her daughters are starting their mammogram screenings early.

"Honestly, my mom wouldn't be here if it wasn't for self-exams and mammograms. She wouldn't be here," said Carrie.

Race placards that celebrate survivors and remember lost loved ones inspire Carla and her family to keep going year after year.

"I want a world without breast cancer for my daughters, and one day, granddaughters, and great-nieces. I don't want them to have to go through what I went through," said Carla.

Come out and join Eyewitness News Orange County Bureau Chief, Eileen Frere, at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Race for the Cure in Orange County this Sunday, Sept. 23, at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Over 30,000 people, including 2,000 breast cancer survivors are expected to attend the "Race for the Cure," which is a 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Walk fundraising event inspiring the fight to end breast cancer. There is also a Race Expo, with information, resources, food and fun, where more ABC7 Eyewitness news personalities will be on hand to sign pictures.

For more information and to register for the race, visit www.komenoc.org.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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health, women's health, cancer, healthy living, denise dador
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