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Living With It
Judy Pickett Is Outrunning Breast Cancer and Setting the Pace for Other Women

In February 1997, at the age of 33, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  After eight months of treatment, I decided to start running again (my favorite pastime) to get myself "back to normal."  Since then, I've endured two recurrences of the disease. This has been a challenging experience for me, as well as for my husband and three children. However, I chose to use my personal experience with cancer as an opportunity to help others who may be going through similar challenges.

In 1998, I ran in my first cancer benefit race and my mission was born.  I pledged to participate in 100 cancer benefit races throughout the country in an effort to demonstrate to women that you can lead a productive life after a diagnosis of breast cancer.  Through the races, I try to deliver important messages to American women.  These include the importance of early detection of breast cancer through self-exams, diagnostic tests and annual check-ups.  Since 1998, I've taken part in 56 races and won 45 in the survivor category.  I have run along with more than 40,000 survivors and 825,000 other athletes.  Participating in these races really helps me tell my story.  I want women to see firsthand that you can lead an active and fulfilling life with breast cancer.  I like doing something positive with a negative.

Currently, I am undergoing treatment with the chemotherapy agent Taxotere to treat my cancer.  I am fortunate in that I feel strong and well enough to train and run races with other survivors so that I may spread my message to women with or without cancer. Medical research has made great strides in cancer therapy, which is allowing me to make great strides in my races and my life. 

In late January 2002, I will be carrying the Olympic torch in Sacramento, near my hometown of Cameron Park, CA.  It is an honor for me to be chosen to bear the torch along with so many other inspiring individuals.  To be a part of this exciting ceremony, an individual must overcome hardship in a way that motivates and inspires others.  This run will be one of my shortest, but it may be the most important as a symbol of my commitment to "light the way" for others living with breast cancer.

If you are coping with recurrent breast cancer or have family members or friends who are, there is a helpful web site available called www.livingwithit.org.  "Living With It" is a comprehensive patient support program and resource designed to empower women experiencing breast cancer for a second time through guidance about diet, exercise, finances, insurance and relationships.

I'm living with it, and I want other women to know that they can too.

Click here for more information on breast cancer.

Three-time breast cancer survivor Judy Pickett, currently undergoing chemotherapy, is more than halfway to her goal of running 100 cancer benefit races throughout the country to show that women with breast cancer can lead a full and active life. She carries the Olympic torch in Sacramento on Sunday, January 20, 2002. Judy is an advocate of Living With It the patient support program that empowers women with recurrent breast cancer through guidance about diet, exercise, finances, insurance and relationships.

Created: 1/22/2002  -  Judy Pickett

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