Why The C95 Radio Marathon Matters
Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate.
In Saskatchewan, 740 women were diagnosed with the disease last year. That’s two women hearing the words, ‘you have cancer,’ every day.
Kristen Fiolleau and Deanna Ratzlaff, of Saskatoon, are two of those women. They are two strangers brought together by the C95 Radio Marathon for Breast Cancer Research.
In June 2014, Kristen was a busy mother of a two-year-old daughter. While getting ready for bed one night, she noticed a painful lump in her breast. What she thought was a cyst was actually more serious. She had Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
“I was in shock, and I had a lot of anger upon hearing those words, Kristen explains. “Someone was telling me I had an expiry date. You know what it is, and those numbers are scary.”
In April 2015, Deanna Ratzlaff was 45 and feeling great. While at her doctors for a routine physical, she wanted to have a mammogram. Deanna has dense breasts and noticed a denser area. The mammogram revealed she had invasive ductal carcinoma, estrogen positive, progesterone positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.
“I was totally shocked. It is not something that I had expected or anticipated,” Deanna says. “I have no family history of breast cancer, and I just was totally blown out of the water.”
They would both have surgery and chemotherapy as part of their treatment plans.
A friend encouraged Kristen to share her story live on air during the C95 Radio Marathon. She walked on stage the day after finding out her cancer had progressed to stage 4 and announced it to everyone.
“It was important to me to scream that out. I needed a cure. I needed a treatment plan…I needed research,” Kristen says.
She would become an ambassador, eventually recruiting Deanna Ratzlaff through mutual acquaintances to join her on the marathon.
For both women, the radio marathon and their involvement in it has been invaluable.
“The only way to come up with better treatments and medications for cancer patients is through research. Research is funded with money and if we do not have money, we do not have research,” Deanna explains.
“That one dollar could be someone’s life; it could be my life. That could be what I need right now to have hope for myself and hope for my daughter’s future, and hope for every woman’s future,” Kristen explains.
As for their health today, both women use the term, NEAD: No Evidence of Active Disease.
Kristen perhaps sums it up best why everyone should donate to the radio marathon.
“Research is the only thing I have left. It is my cure. I need something that will be able to help me to be there for my daughter’s grade 12 graduation. I want to be there for those moments.”
You can donate to the marathon by clicking the button below.Donate
Photo credit:@nancynewbyphotography @surviv_her