‘20 years ago I probably would not have made it past the first month,’ breast cancer patient credits Komen’s support system in her fight

‘20 years ago I probably would not have made it past the first month,’ breast cancer patient credits Komen’s support system in her fight

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - ‘Our mission isn’t cancelled’. Those words from Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio.

‘20 years ago I probably would not have made it past the first month,’ breast cancer patient credits Komen’s support system in her fight

The ‘More Than Pink’ Walk in Cleveland will be different this year, because of COVID-19.

But the goal of raising money for new treatments, for patient support, and ultimately for a cure, continues.

This week, 19 News has been introducing you to local women fighting breast cancer.

They’re raising awareness and highlighting what Komen Northeast Ohio has done for them.

Meet Stacie Faulkenstein: “I mean, I was so numb, like did you really just say that, what do you mean?,” questions Stacie.

Stacie Faulkenstein
Stacie Faulkenstein (Source: Family)

A painful lump on Stacie Faulkenstein’s breast, initially diagnosed as an infection, was breast cancer.

“I was at stage 3 already,” says Stacie.

Five months of chemotherapy, 30 powerful treatments of radiation and several surgeries later, Stacie thought she was in the clear. But something still wasn’t right.

So, she went to the Emergency Room. The cancer had spread to her spine.

“So me going, OK I have cancer, couple of treatments and we’re finished, to now, I will never, ever stop treatment because I have metastatic breast cancer. I will never stop,” says Stacie.

The next round of treatment made it impossible for the single mom of four to work. That’s when Susan G. Komen stepped in, paying two months of her rent.

“To keep a roof over my head and my children’s, that’s huge. To know you are still going to have a place to live,” says Stacie emotionally.

Not only that, Stacie and her family were invited as special guests to several big local events. “You get to step aside and step out of cancer,” says Stacie.

Stacie Faulkenstein
Stacie Faulkenstein (Source: Family)

And then there was Christmas. Volunteers from Komen Northeast Ohio delivered gifts for Stacie’s family. “It was beautiful to see my children sit back and have Christmas.

It was fantastic for my children to see beauty in people who, they don’t even know us,” says Stacie.

But the gift of life is what Stacie says she is most thankful for, and she attributes that to the money Susan G. Komen raises to help fund clinical trials for new treatments and ultimately for a cure.

“20 years ago I probably would not have made it past the first month. But because they have not stopped. They’re not even stopping now and we’re in a pandemic,” says Stacie, adding, “They’re fighting for you and I will continue to fight for them so they know everything they do, is so worth it.”

There is still time to sign up, or donate for the ‘More than Pink’ walk in Cleveland.

The virtual event is August 15 but fundraising continues through September 15.

You can watch the opening ceremony Saturday on CW43 at 10am. Our very own Nichole Vrsansky is the emcee. Head to KomenNEOhio.org for more information.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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