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American Cancer Society 072317

Jul 19, 2017|

AN INTERVIEW WITH ANGELA DUNCAN AND ALICIA DUNCAN, VOLUNTEERS WITH AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, ABOUT THE ACS ANNUAL FUNDRAISER RELAY FOR LIFE.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is Mitchell still in the Entercom radio Portland public affairs program under blocks of it's pretty universal led most of us have been touched by cancer in some way we all wanna fight cancer and this time on the show we're gonna find out how you can help. Plummet just go this time I would like to welcome Angela Duncan in a leash Duncan. They are volunteers with the American Cancer Society in the ladies hello. Oh thanks for having us yeah well it's my pleasure so we'll big event coming up in just a few weeks rates yeah so relay for life. Tell me a reliever like well. I actually relay for life as American cancer society's signature fundraising event we are as big as global. And were as controls community so. We have relay for life events or across Oregon for example there's one and say Iran. Bears relay for life and first growth there's one in Beaverton or and we just had one and sandy and were actually apart at the relay for life of Portland. So all relays are created by volunteers were passionate about fighting back against cancer. We have an amazing committee who works hard all year long to bring together this huge event it's really exciting. Through reaper relay we celebrate survivors who have won their Freddy gets cancer we remember those who have lost them. Who we have lost to cancer and we fight back this protests were currently battling the disease. Relay for life is eighteen fundraising event where the team members take turns our current tracker does impact our really has a track and we were. We watch that we market are gonna switch for our strong it starts on August opportunity analysts opening ceremonies. Each team has asked to have one member on track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps so that the idea of cancer patients. They don't get a chance to to stop because they're tired so for one night out of the year. All of our volunteers and teams we. Spend one night frightened back right along with them that's pretty great symbolism yes there's always information need to fine at relay for life dot ORG forward slash Portland dot OR. Friends that are raised through relay for life support the American cancer society's groundbreaking research programs. It helps American Cancer Society provide free patient programs like the look at feel better approach recovery. We have cancer information services at cancer dot org. He can always call the American Cancer Society at 10227. 2345. And both the resources are available for hours or days and days week. How to manage the other day at the American Cancer Society is a great place. To get the information that you need to Aaron playing because it's a diagnosis of cancer is a absolutely terrifying to me you probably feel completely alone exactly. Yeah exactly I was diagnosed they had that advocate who. Actually was one of the people who reach out to me never reach to recovery program and that's. Where breast cancer survivor kind of gets teamed up with somebody who is going through breast cancer. And they reach out on me because I help you go through an answer questions and their little more personable than just going to doctor's office in the doctor's name is how might turn out. You know they they actually felt and then there and can experience itself. That was one of the they get trained to you know how to keep confidentiality and things like that. And that was to actually help me it was amazing she just she was more helpful to me in fact then the doctors were at times now. It's awesome Lisa tells a story what might have in this when loser diagnosis. 211 it was July actually am I'm just coming up to my my birthday. I was 27 and I have felt lump in my right breast. And it's. I kind of letting go you know Allison to kind of rumors and statistics and things like that and closer 27 you're invincible to sell. They didn't have health insurance and just kind of went all my life I was 29 years old and I finally went and and see what got my yearly exam and the doctor said you tell me to be anything you're worried about so I went through and I said. Sounds like not uniting name ten different things and I Sallyann the slump. So we get our examine and she says it all we're forgy wants she Fort Meade to the ultrasound and everybody's saying 060% chance this is just you know nothing because of your agent national cancer in your history and you don't smoke. And so I settled in the Hamburg tie Yana and worry about ends June Ford beyond. And then also I get she had a mammogram in the doctor comes in there radiologist doctor comes in and says. Hey he cedes this right here this is this is your exam and Dicey that that white thing yes well that's cancer. And it was like a world where our guys got slapped in the face you know it's like well wait let you know. And it turned out that I'm after the biopsy and and such that I actually had it in my in my lymph nodes under my arm pit and also in the Breaston and it was quite large actually them amassed quite large so. What they're doing it did Vicky no radiation and on that stage three. So I had to do to two mastectomies. And then I had to do the you know once treatment plan for ten years and you know just. Just trying to get through that but I'm I'm happy to say I'm six years I'll be six years this July so are a couple pars on July so a couple weeks. On the hit my six your birthday and so yeah it's actually. Pretty lucky apps on my kid who. And now okay congratulations yes excuse us. While that initial diagnosis must have been sort of devastating cut you from you. Deal for. Army. Didn't do very well. I had a lot of support friends and family that's really what got me through. But it's you know as for trying to figure out. What where I'm going uniting and all's gonna live at that point you know the doctors say pave you know feeding catch this. Changed our Christmas you wouldn't have been here and worsened in July so that was pretty intense you know we think you go from thinking you're invincible to. Com finding out that your not and I you have I'm very. You awful disease that potentially could take your life. And I didn't know much cancer the times so I you know I just knew horror stories and it was still at that time six years ago before the research it was still. One of those things that people they didn't really have a whole lot to you the survival rate was a little bit better but it wasn't as great as it's came. And so you know I was still little things like hey you have ago 4050%. Chance of survival and that's really scary you know and so you know you spend a lot of time they get about your past and you think about a lot of you know it's an all time your family friends and making those memories and making those moments with them because you're not sure that your gonna be here and you know we go to keenly Philippine die in an. You know it's one of those AG I was out of work now on forties a week in now and then I got to where it could even take my dinner plate to the seat because. You'd be read literally feel like parties dying every every something else that's awful it's terrible thing. He don't recommend I don't recommend that Ellen yeah. Angelos would like to have your wife police are going through that. I've. You know it's been a caregiver to sanity left you don't you think about it you just do it you you have to just do it. I'm me I resource persons that's where American Cancer Society came in really handy that I can find some information that can help us you know. Help me as a carrier to sports somebody is going through. That's horrible disease. You know I remember I never thought and a million years I would be OK let you know changing dressings. Draining two moves going through and been inching up. You know mastectomy scars. We spent. Nights at the hospital she had to have occurred double mastectomy two different surgeries because her heart so weak from the chemo. So we and the first time you stand the night she was scared to dad couldn't and actual medical home that night I texted text return top 3 in the morning and yeah tarnish as a sleeping and of course I got right back up and went right back to the hospital 6 in the morning mixture she is doing okay. I mean is that your leadership the second mastectomy but again that's it's although spears when you go back and checked into the hospital or to have these surgeries to have these tests. And in the turn her as a way to catch has gone hey. I liked. You know you start paying attention your body iPad iPad this tape for three weeks does that mean cancers back or the doctor called and said you know I need to go and and have my bone scan done. Where that calling might they think that they expect so. You know cancers cancer is gone but it's always if it changes your life and that's with you forever. And you know that's where. These resources that are available out there are so important for people because you don't know what to expect. Nobody studies in school hey what what happens at regular cancer how much can handle that you don't study that seat have these resources available you can go to such as cancer dot org. And they can help you. How you through step X step hunt yeah. Must be an amazing experience at some level to impress. They bring you to closer together. I'll definitely yeah and I have we written you know we can handle this we can he had to play out. Yeah I mean you the hardest job has been cancer fighter but the second hardest job if not sometimes equally hard is the caregiver so. When you're when you're there it's like. You learned that you know you you can't figure out pay act Parker lose this person you know this could be my last. Weekly them you know I mean I'll have 45 months of them left and here's a really bring you closer together because you start realizing. What you might not have. And and it's such a hard job that you know the person used it caregiver is Blake. They're tired and they're exhausted but they know that sick cancer fighter is more tired exhausted so. You know that shows a lot of love and support when not persons still gets up and says take. What you need need to do hate how can I take care of you still so I mean that bond is. Amazing actually. In re both involved with the American Cancer Society before Lisa's diagnosis now no. And also have you found this American cancer society and be a great resource and an incredible organization genuinely involved. We believe in so much that we did we started out both of us started out as team members and over the past five years. Last year where action committee. And then I went straight from bottom of the committee to a Bentley a run friendly for quite well. But he's. You know it doesn't take as much knowledge as it has a passion. To want to put together this great event bringing the community together to support each other. It through cancer. Relay it didn't who. Relay it was. Something that was always told me I worked for eight retail store that highly. Supports relay for life and they supported they sponsor a you know maybe they put out posters about it. And I always thought OK now on yeah cool that's sounds like a fun thing. But you never have time for something until affects your life you know and I'm I didn't know anybody who had cancer and so it really know much about relay for life hands. And I got diagnosed and them so. It was I was diagnosed one week the following week I had my first kibo. And its people at the store were saying hey join relay for life with us and I mean I just start working at that stores I didn't know anybody that was on the team. And I said I guess so they kind of like sign me up on the team they you know or my shirt everything and you know I started my chemo on Wednesday and then that's Saturday was the actual events I didn't get to partake in all of fund raising for the year but. I showed up to events and brought my chair and I didn't know that you could stay overnight so I stayed for most of the day. But. Somebody handed me a purple shirt that says survivor on it and all survivors get this pre shirt. And they said here put this on and I said. No all I'm I'm I don't you know I'm gonna live at this point so I don't deserve to Wear the shirt as a survivor. And a friend said to be answered by being is a survivor and I'm still fighting so heck yeah I deserved rusher itself. One of the friends of my team is also survivor. And she grabbed my hand they do this lap post drivers and it's the first real lap after opening ceremonies. And it's a survivor lap and you walk this track and everybody lined the track and they're cheering you on. And people are cry me and there are you know it's like. Because you learn that you beat some scenes that some and a lot of people don't so it's like a different strength that you don't really should have. And you're walking that track it's the most proud feeling. On the governor mansion unite I played sports. All growing up you know basketball I had. Trophies and ribbons and championships but nothing ever. Mattered as much to meet except that lap every year that I take because. Every time my past as a finish line. First of all it it means that I beat cancer or another you're second and I'm still here. And it's also it shows that I went from six years ago not being able to take three steps or stand for forty seconds. To be Hamilton take on only one lab but many laps throughout the day you know. So on. Really just it brought that out and for me really is. It's everything to me it's most I wouldn't I can't imagine not doing that I got a tattoo of relief for life. Oh. Yeah. I your passion and that's an occasion that. That's awesome what was it like for you right after diagnosis to meet survivors. Would that mean for you personally. Unless he you know IE was kind of closed off because I thought talking to. Somebody about Mike aliens wasn't kind of my thing. And I was pushed to do a retreat with another cancer group and so on those all breast cancer survivors. And actually talking to them and listening to them. Was. Amazing because I was able to put my feeling is that I couldn't express to my caregivers and my caregivers couldn't figure out how I felt. To these people who understood exactly what I think when I'm going to exactly how it feels and you know when you're scared for testing you reach out here caregivers and you say. Gosh I'm kind of freaking out about this test coming up in your caregivers job is to be positive and you make you feel better and to be. It's tough because you're terrified and they don't necessarily understand that same. Fear that you do and so when your with a bunch of cancer survivors who. Not only have that same strength you do because they're fighting or beat it but they also have those same worries in the same fears and you can just you relate. My friends I have now that are breast cancer survivors are going to breast cancer I meet a bunch of women now that do that and we call it I keep saying there's a different bond there when you're with somebody who has gone through what you've gone through it's just. It's in its amazing on you have it's like a sisterhood or you know brotherhood with with these other cancer survivors. In somebody that can relate. Directly to what you're going through as it has pretty profound especially with cancer yeah especially the missiles hardest thing to. Express when you're going to cancer Yankee you look at people not how you feeling today. And you really don't have those kids I can the capitals. Feelings in the words and when you meet somebody who can't or who couldn't put part of those feelings and words and you can fill in the gap for the other half. You kind of just help each other and it's just phenomenal actually. And probably in the beginning I would imagine you probably. Don't know how to ask for help older and you don't know even the immediate need to ask you are here too proud to examine your guard down. Exactly if that wasn't for me pushing her troops and after I got to the pirates said you know you need to surround yourself with people that have gone through you've gone through. To have that that bond moon and to have that support there's only so much research and stuff that I can read and learn about. I I can't feel it first hand. And so finally I think she gave them because you are turning negative thoughts and well let's let that he and she did and when she came home she is like that was amazing and I'm done it again that's perfect yeah I was so it was. And that's really for life does too and brings that Al Ive seen people come in their clothes off and the kind of angry because. Yeah I hear ya going through cancer a very good reason yeah absolutely and so I've seen some people come in and meet other people and it just brings an Al NM and they're able to. Almost Gillick a therapeutic feeling on being around. And not just the survivors but the caregivers. Because relay for life actually owners. And that caregivers as well. And so. It's one of those things actually. You know which like hey you can't just do a good job either an amazing job and they have a caregiver lap as well that where we stand on the track and we honor them and this year we're actually doing. It's secrets I can't divulge and my next question do a very cool thing for both the survivors and the caregivers aunts. It's just a way to say thank you for helping me because for me my strength was Angeles sitting in the waiting room while I'm getting radiation down just. Knowing that she's in there yeah I'm really helped me. Pull through and later in a captain I can do this I can do this were doing this for you know it's saving my life. So yeah it's. It's when my dad who doesn't think that his caregiver he always says I don't deserve take out lap I didn't do anything you know he says Angelos the caregiver. And I Saddam dead you answer that phone when I called you. You know there was a point where I had test and I didn't call on talent and I later did. Because it came back finite set and why were you but this is what happened to the good news okay and he said. Why you call me and I says it will because I don't worry you're you know you're getting up there an age dad and dad heat. He said he's a law I would rather you call me worry me and take that walk with you then have you walked through that without me. And I am actually means more to me then for the most he's ever said to me. So it was yeah I just so you know Richard and they don't think that they do big job and I don't think that they're doing a danger. But they do amazing and they deserve to have a reward. Which is why we started relay for life because. Not everybody out there have a caregiver they don't have family or friends they're close to them that can help them you know through that. Take that journey and that that cancer experience and you know relay for life actually fund raises. First an amazing programs that are offered from app for American Cancer Society such as Steve road to recovery program which is really amazing. We heard a story not too long ago about a gentleman who lived in a rural area. And he actually had to write his bike to chemotherapy while right and he he couldn't not go he needed this lifesaving treatment. So he would ride his bike in his chemotherapy for six hours. Right home just tired as can be and you know American Cancer Society said let's expand ran it. Go out to rural areas now and opera these road to recovery right so. We have part of the program is we have these caregivers. That. Don't even know each other but they volunteer their time they go on picket these people and taken to their to their treatments news and take them home. Which is. It's amazing that is a means and we also have a American Cancer Society has looked at feel better program. And it's dedicated. To helping cancer patients. Increase their self esteem when they're going to treatment there's a lot of changes happens to the body. You lose hairy his eyebrows eyelashes. Everything your skin changes. It's lifesaving. Drugs that need to be given but a lot a lot of changes happen so. When you when a hair grows back to people don't think about it but you get in grown pairs which turned infections and when your immune systems already. Lapsed it's on could really create a potentially serious issues so you know they help give you you know there's like cranes out there and saw some like that help. Bill situations where. You can help Atlanta. Skin care guidance along with here cared nail care styling tips they have opera wigs. I'm so and it just didn't when he seventeen so far we've had fifteen volunteers. That have assisted more than a hundred by patients through this program. I just this year alone. And so it's constantly growing and constantly. You know expanding in different areas that's really exciting. And then there's the cancer help find that we farmers for which is available twenty for seven there offered by supporter. And of course hoped for anyone going through cancer. Does help line is also available for caregivers are supporting going through this ten to help me I used it to understand you know how can play. Hell I'd like to go through these these emotions that are happening in earnest this physical stuff the doctor never told us that. This physical stuff is gonna happen tour and they were able to give me advice on my glory. It's all new for the caregiver to yes isn't she she got me in the backyard one day have been like Sally Field moment where I was I had nine different cry easily different facial expressions and I was happy to sat in. And she's like what I don't know why should convert you or fight back you can. The all over the place so you know it's tougher hurt if I can't tell Orlando I'm just mad to sad happy when I don't even know high feels that you don't have. 1800 number and it. Asked them first super hurt in your area for caregiver to go to. And they need super hurts just as much and also for the patient. Again again like a sack or pressure to go but when she did it was great and so that's 1802272345. As American Cancer Society phone number. Toll will appeal it anywhere across the US though Tokyo and New York area. For super groups also Angela the last couple minutes we have here tell me about the actual relay for life event what are we knew what to expect that day. I've relay so much fire and so we starts time. Artist well at 10 AM and urged when he fervent. And so we don't stop the fun until Sunday August 13 at 10 AM. We'll start whipped. Opening ceremonies were a family friendly event we don't charge we're open to everybody we want you to come and join in on fun and see what it is that we do. We do have a lot of our teams will fund raiser at the events of the have goodies you know I'm food. Crafts a homemade staff anything and there's different based pain mean game sports center the staff so it would bring cash if you wanna. Get something exciting in my that support our fundraising but otherwise it's up and everybody who were. At the Portland Christian school they give us their track and field every year to hold a cement which is amazing. And they're information actually is on our website. At the relay for life dot org part slash Portland or are. We also have entertainment we have recognition ceremonies. We have preliminary event which is amazing very touching and two and that's held at 10 o'clock at night. And I am. And we follow opponent or opponents red. And as you're listening to the prompts you like your back so that you have are lining your back for a mother father has passed a cancer you play your back. And so when you stand there you look around tracking her gracefully like they're back in its tunnels bittersweet because you're seeing all these people that have battled cancer. But when you're gonna running a series people out of there are cancer to do so it's it's really cool and it's a sex any. A bonding experience and we have entertainment comes and music. And lots of food and Riddick TJ that you know plays songs all day for us and he's really good and so it's really exciting you know. Really early release on quicken. A beautiful and useful and helpful he met in this and it's a tore everybody cool August 12 is when it starts in Indians on August 13 24 hour. So you can bring if you haven't heard anyone Axelsson staff we can say yep there if not you can bring your tent and camp out in the middle of the field. And you know we ask that somebody's on the track from your team. To an attorney for hours. Doesn't necessarily have to go we're not we're not we don't we are police guess what I attract Leesburg will relay for life but we're not and ran that we don't we don't relay the we're not times there's no winner it's more of you know we we want more attractive signified anywhere they're. Writing cancer but we also want to take time to meet other people on the community. That share the same experiences that you do very cool that this has been great information please thanks so much for me and so yeah it thank you crash and Angela Duncan in the Lisa Duncan volunteers are the American Cancer Society thanks again. Mitchell's bill is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks of if you're involved with a nonprofit or public affairs organization or do you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website handsome richer information there. Thanks for listening to metros go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.