Cancer Touches Us All

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Thursday September 22, 2011

While it is true one in three people will be affected by cancer in their lifetime, the statistic does not reflect the impact the disease has on the loved ones of a cancer patient.  Cindy Boardman has experienced the fear, the struggles, and the heartache associated with a cancer diagnosis.  In 2002, Cindy’s mother, Carol Duncan of South Burlington, was diagnosed with breast cancer and although she survived five years, lung cancer ultimately claimed her life at age 66 in 2007. 

Even though cancer is unpredictable and alarming, Cindy and her family were optimistic about Carol’s treatment plan for breast cancer since the cancer was detected early during a routine mammography screening.  Following a mastectomy and chemotherapy, Carol returned to good health, enjoying gardening and cooking, a few of her life’s pleasures.   

“We are a very close family,” said Cindy, 51, wife and mother of two, “and we were all there for each other even more through this process.” 

Cindy’s children, sister, aunt, and father were among the relatives who formed team ‘We Are Family’ (pictured above right) and joined Relay For Life of Chittenden County in 2006 to fight back against cancer, one year before her mother would lose her 6-month battle with lung cancer.  They’ve walked every year since to help raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society and honor Carol’s memory.

“I still have a hard time not having her around,” Cindy shared. “I miss her every day.  I have gone to pick up the phone many times to fill her in on things happening in my life.”

For two years, Cindy, a life-long SB resident, has served as the volunteer co-chair of the Food Committee for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Dorset Park.  This year’s event will be held on October 16, 1 p.m., to help educate women—and men—on the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women and raise money to help save lives.

“I became involved as cancer has touched so many friends and family,” Cindy said.  “I wanted to be able to help in some way.  I can raise awareness and help bring information about the various American Cancer Society programs to people.”

Cindy, a life-long SB resident, believes a healthy lifestyle and routine cancer screening will help prevent breast cancer, a disease diagnosed in nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. in 2010, but one which impacts us all.   

For cancer information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call 1.800.227.2345 or visit cancer.org.  To join Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, visit www.cancer.org/stridesonline.

Source:  American Cancer Society