By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Cathie Young, founder of Cancer with Compassion, an outreach she created after her fight with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer nearly a decade ago.
“It’s the type of cancer that’s not found on the mammograms often times, so it had been growing in my breast for a very long time without the mammograms being able to spot it,” said Young. “By the time they found it it had grown top to bottom, side to decide and had advanced to my lymph nodes.”
Young had to have a double mastectomy, six months of chemotherapy, weeks of radiation and subsequent surgeries.
She then began to think of others who may be going through similar experiences.
“About six months in my focus shifted from, ‘Oh God, keep me alive! Heal me!’, to, ‘How can I help others, how can I reach out and help others?’.” said Young. “It really started with my putting a yard sign out that said, ‘Cancer Support: This Thursday 10 AM’ and 25 people from he neighborhood showed up!”
Since then, Cancer with Compassion has grown to include dozens of other women in Bend and southern California.
Tori Sensenbach also works to honor those in the fight of their lives.
She opened Mariposa, a wig and post-mastectomy boutique, as a tribute to a good friend who lost her fight with breast cancer.
“I felt like this was a way I could honor her legacy, and I think about her all the time when I’m interacting with the women that come in here because I think, ‘What would she want in this situation?’ and it really helps me when I’m sitting with a woman who is going through this figure out how to help them,” Sensenbach said.
Young and Sesenbach have previously been involved in the Heaven Can Wait 5K to raise awareness for breast cancer.
This year, the 5K will be taking place virtually, and though the money will be given to frontline workers, Young says its message is still an important one.
“In my outreach I am talking to cancer patients almost every day who are going through the rigors of chemotherapy, who are going through the reality that death might be coming soon, and those people need to know that other people care about them,” said Young. “This year with the virtual Heaven can Wait, It is an opportunity for the community to say, ‘Oh yes, we remember you!’.”
You can sign up for the 5K online at stcharleshealthcare.org.
You can walk, or run, outside or on a treadmill and complete your miles by June 14th.