Making Strides to Honor Memories of Mom

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Thursday September 27, 2012

Four years after breast cancer claimed the life of Vicki Greci, her daughters, Alicia Greci and Angela Brickell, still yearn for the comfort of their mother’s embrace and the wisdom of their mother’s words.   To honor and remember the memory of the woman they both considered their best friend, Alicia and Angela will be participating in their fifth American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Dorset Park on October 21, a gathering to unite breast cancer survivors, caregivers, and loved ones determined to end breast cancer forever.

In 2004, Alicia, a sophomore at the University of Vermont, and Angela, a high school senior, learned their mother was fighting Stage IV breast cancer.  Vicki instinctively protected her girls from the heavy burden she was carrying, saying, “It’s a bump in the road,” a phrase that now gives Alicia and Angela inspiration.

“She stayed positive through everything and never showed fear,” said South Burlington resident Alicia, 27.  “Her words continue to give us hope that getting through anything is possible with a strong will and support.”

The Greci sisters found support in one another and in their community.  Making Strides Against Breast Cancer came to Vermont in 2008, just months after their mother’s passing.  The women joined the movement to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and early detection, and raise money to help fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services, and access to mammograms for women who need them.

“We had to do it,” said Angela, 26, of South Burlington who found the camaraderie of her first Strides walk uplifting despite the grief she was personally carrying.  “We just wanted to help other people and show how strong mom was.  She would have been standing there with every other woman.”

“It’s nice to bring everyone together,” Alicia, the Strides team leader, said of the breast cancer walk.  “It’s inspiring, yet overwhelming to see how many people are touched by breast cancer.”

After lung cancer, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, with an estimated 39,920 breast cancer deaths expected in the U.S. in 2012.   Fortunately, death rates for breast cancer have steadily decreased in women since 1990 thanks in part to earlier detection and improved treatment.  The American Cancer Society is the leader in the fight to end breast cancer, investing more in breast cancer research than any other cancer type and reaching one in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer with free information and services—when and where they need it.

“Our mom was everything,” Angela said with heartfelt emotion.  “We think about her always.”

“Our mom’s spirit, courage, and strength lives on in us,” said Alicia proudly. “Her spirit keeps my hope alive.” 

Join the fight to save more moms and end breast cancer by registering today for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 21, 1 p.m., at Dorset Park in South Burlington at makingstrideswalk.org/chittendencountyvt.   For free cancer information and resources, call your American Cancer Society, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

SOURCE: American Cancer Society