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Race for a Reason 2005

Brattleboro, VT, May 7, 2005

Our Motivation: Why we chose the American Cancer Society

by various

5K Fun!
5K Fun!
Our Motivation: Why we chose the American Cancer Society

Ron Crawford was a good friend, mentor, and role model on top of being my college professor. While I was a very young community college student, he opened my eyes to the world and shaped the lenses through which I see. He inspired me to reach farther and supported me in many ways through college, the Peace Corps, and my decision to go to graduate school. Ron taught physics, math, geology, volcanology, oceanography, astronomy, hiking, and mountaineering in his over thirty years at Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles, Washington. I had only been in Vermont a few days, starting my new life as a graduate student at SIT, when I got the news that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had less than three months to live. A small lump on his back that had been ignored earlier turned out to be metastasized melanoma; it had already spread throughout his body by the time it was properly diagnosed. Chemotherapy, surgery, and drugs allowed him a brief time to say goodbye to his wife and two children, but I was unable to fly back in time. I hoped to return to see him for Christmas but he passed away on November 19th, 2004. Ron led a full and wonderful life, but it was still too short. It was ended by skin cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and also one of the easiest to treat if caught very early. My father had a bit removed from his nose several years ago because it was checked early, Ron was not so lucky. I am coordinating the Race for a Reason this year with the American Cancer Society in honor and memory of my friend Ron, in the hopes that people can be educated about cancer and to support the search for a cure. - Stewart Matthiesen SIT Student and Race Coordinator

My grandmother had breast cancer when I was very young but she was able to recover.† She even had it a second time, but was able to recover again.† That is what made it so hard to lose my uncle, my grandmotherís son, Daniel A. Spaeth,†at 50 years of age on 1/16/2005 to colon cancer after fighting it so very hard for 3 years.††He was a vibrant man who lived and loved deeply. He was very close to his family and his kitchen. My family wants people to know that they should be checked for colon cancer early.† As a result of knowing that it comes to our family at a younger age, I myself will be getting checked in my 30s.† Women and men alike are struck by both breast and colon cancer.† Everyone should be aware of the symptoms and perform self-examinations regularly. I am supporting the Race for a Reason and the American Cancer Society in memory of my uncle Dan and in honor of family and friends who are survivors. †- Heather Spaeth SIT student

My aunt Jan has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was only because of concerned family members that she pursued the tests that ultimately confirmed her cancer. She is still reluctant to receive traditional treatment so we used the resources of the American Cancer Society to research alterative treatments for her. Aunt Jan is still sorting through the options but is optimistic that she has lots of support and will feel comfortable choosing one of the alternatives we found. I am grateful to the American Cancer Society for the information we were able to provide to her. This year I am proud to be supporting and participating in the Race in honor of my aunt and out of gratitude for the American Cancer Societyís direct influence in her life. - Rebecca Neubert SIT student and Race Publicity Coordinator

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