Brighton Woman Fights Cancer Again, this time with a little help from her son
I’m away right now, back downstate, but wanted to repost my latest D&C column, as my web links don’t last forever. Spending time with family and friends for Passover, just after my in-laws lost two close friends to cancer. My sister-in-law has a friend going through cancer treatment for liver cancer….. how many others around you do you know who are living with cancer?
When it comes to cancer, national statistics don’t always paint the same picture of the stories around you.
According to an October 2011 report by the American Cancer Society, the rate of cancer cases in women fell by one-half of a percentage point per year from 1998 through 2006.
But in my own personal circles of women in their late 30s and 40s, it just feels like cancer is on the rise.
Right now, I can count at least eight friends and acquaintances, women I know from my synagogue and women I know through my children’s schools, who are currently undergoing or are recovering from cancer treatment.
Unfortunately, you can most likely say the same.
One such woman in Brighton is Anne Mowrer, who last October received the news that after five years of remission, her breast cancer had returned as metastatic breast cancer and spread to her lungs and liver.
The first time she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her daughter Ellie was 11 months old and her son Timmy was 3 years old.
Her story, and how she uses the website CaringBridge.org to keep friends and family updated on her condition, was featured in an August 2006 issue of the Democrat and Chronicle.
Now that her kids are older, Anne said the news is harder to take because they have a better understanding of what cancer is.
“Timmy was quite devastated by the news,” she said. “We have had three close friends pass away from cancer in the last year.
“It’s hard but necessary to be honest with my kids — cancer treatment for me is not going to go away. It’s something I will have to do for the rest of my life,” said Anne.
However, being older means that her son Timmy, a third-grader at French Road Middle School, is happy he can do something to help his mom. Instead of accepting presents for Christmas and his birthday this year, he asked for donations to be made to the Pluta Cancer Center, where his mom is being treated.
Timmy got the word out to his classmates and on Anne’s CaringBridge website. A few of Timmy’s friends took his cue and also asked for donations instead of birthday and Christmas presents. So far, Timmy has raised $13,000 for “Timmy’s Fund” at the Pluta Cancer Center.
Right now, Anne is in pretty good spirits. A recent CAT scan showed that the tumors in her lungs have disappeared and those in her liver are shrinking. This is the first “good news” she has had in some time, she said.
She said she gets her strength from her kids, her husband, Joe, family and friends in town, and people leaving well wishes on her website. She also is grateful that on good days, she can still exercise and work on the phone as a triage nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital’s University Health Services.
“I am so glad I can work. I love my job. As a patient, my nursing skills also come in handy because I know how to be my own advocate.”
Although Timmy didn’t ask for gifts for himself, his generosity and efforts to raise money for cancer research have not gone unnoticed. Just last month, Timmy, an avid Boston Red Sox fan, received an autographed baseball from Sox second baseman Dustin Pedrolia and a letter commending his fundraising work from Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino. The two items rest in a glass ball holder and frame and are proudly displayed in his room.
If you would like to contribute to Timmy’s fundraiser for the Pluta Cancer Center, checks made to the center with “Timmy’s Fund” indicated on the check can be mailed to Pluta Cancer Center, 125 Red Creek Drive, Rochester NY 14623.
Contact Stacy Gittleman with news and notable people from east-side towns at email@example.com.