Hope flourishes in fight against cancer

It was early on a Saturday morning in May, and Parkcenter Boulevard was awash in pink…t-shirts, tiaras, kilts, wigs, pom-poms…and the rustling of lots and lots of tutus. And then, there were the flamingoes. It was the 20th annual Boise Race for the Cure, and a team calling themselves The Eradicators!, made up of ITD employees and their family and friends, joined thousands of participants to show their support in the fight to end breast cancer.

ITD employee Cathy Spencer, Team Captain of The Eradicators! and a breast cancer survivor, said "I formed the team to bring awareness to the cause that breast cancer needs to be ERADICATED, as CANCER affects not only the person with the diagnosis and treatments that follow, but also those who care for and love that individual."

She was joined by fellow breast cancer survivor and ITD employee Sherry Jenkins, who said that “cancer is a challenge, but I discovered co-workers, family and friends add a level of unmeasurable support.”

In the end The Eradicators! was a team of 26 members, including nine employees from the ITD Headquarters campus: Survivors Cathy Spencer and Sherry Jenkins, and supporters Beverlie Edwards, Kerry Krueger, Jacque Leech, Francine McGrew, Juanita Risch, Lisa West, and Brenda Zantjer.

Team member and supporter Lisa West, said, “I think it shows not only how ITD employees and co-workers support each other, but that we love and care for each other. We care about each other’s safety, not just in the work environment, but in the health and wellness of all employees at ITD as well.”

“I was surprised to learn that women over age 70 experience the highest rates of breast cancer, and that breast cancer risk increases with age," West added. "It’s critical to raise awareness about the importance of breast health, and to remind everyone to make breast cancer screening a part of their regular annual wellness check. Early detection is key for successful treatment!”

Fellow team member Francine McGrew shared a recent experience that motivated her to join in the event: “Last year, my mammogram showed a mass that would require a biopsy. I was scared, and worried for my family. Knowing that Cathy (Spencer) had just come through her treatment, I talked to her about it. She was so supportive and explained the steps in the process, and I knew that she was there to support me whatever the results were – and I am happy to report that my mass was benign. Having that kind of support in the work environment was incredible, and my ITD family is very important to me.”

When McGrew learned of the team being formed, she did not hesitate to join - and return the support that had been provided to her.

McGrew added one more statement: “Please, please get your mammograms or whatever breast screening your physician feels is appropriate. They are very quick and easy tests, and survivor statistics are very high when breast cancer is diagnosed early.”

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the world's largest fundraising event for breast cancer. It consists of a series of 5K runs and fitness walks to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment, to raise awareness of the disease, to celebrate those who have survived breast cancer, and to memorialize those who have not. 

There was much more than just survivors and supporters, and tutus and flamingoes, walking in Boise on that day in May……walking along with them was Hope. And Joy. And Laughter. And Friendship. And Strength. And the reminder of a promise made long ago, to end breast cancer forever.

If you are due or overdue for your mammogram, are not sure if a mammogram is the right breast screening for you, or don’t know how often you should have a breast screening, please talk to your physician about this important topic.

If you need a mammogram but have struggled to schedule one around your working hours, remember that ITD brings the mobile mammography clinic to you: the next clinic dates at HQ will be November 15 and December 10.

For more information about scheduling a mammogram when the mobile clinic is at ITD, please contact one of ITD’s Wellness Coordinators:

District 1:              Stacy Simkins                       1-1297
District 2:              Christina Toups                   2-4205
District 3:              Althea Fackrell                    3-7187
District 4:              Wendy Robinson                 4-7800
District 5:              Joan Kley                               5-3310
District 6:              Ronnie Butler                       6-5647
HQ:                         Dianna Magstadt                7-8792


Published 06-01-18