Avon Breast Cancer Walk

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Avon Breast Cancer Walk
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 10:39am
I have a close friend named Simi Kalani, a registered nurse who lives in Melville, L.I., a 43 year old mother of two children. Her son, Koran is very close to my son, Mikey. In fact, one day, much to Simi’s amusement, she asked Mikey to name his favorite cousins. After rattling off the names of all his little cousins who he loves so dearly, he took a short breath, then said “And Koran!” Little Mikey may not understand much about the difference between family and friends, but in his childlike innocence he understood that what really counts is what the people in your life mean to you.

Simi’s friendship means much the same to me, and through the past 7 years that we have gotten to know each other, we have shared many of life’s ups and downs with each other. One day last year, Simi tearfully told me that a lump had been discovered in her breast, and that, while biopsy results were still pending, the outlook was not good. Sure enough, the biopsy soon confirmed that she had invasive breast cancer in her right breast, which had already spread to the back of her chest wall. The only treatment option would be removal of the breast and aggressive chemotherapy.

As a preventive measure, Simi opted to have both breasts removed, and after a painful recovery period she endured months of grueling chemo treatment. She has since had re-constructive surgery, is feeling very well, and is back to her old self again. She has been given an 85% chance of 10 year survival of this horrible disease.

Coincidentally, this past year, after a routine mammography conducted by Memorial Sloan Kettering and sponsored by my employer, Marsh, Inc. I was contacted by Sloan and told that a shadow had shown up on my mammogram. I was instructed to have the mammogram repeated, and after doing so, once again, I was told there was an irregularity, which should be further tested by sonogram. The sonogram detected a 1 centimeter sized lump that appeared benign, but to be sure, I needed to undergo a needle biopsy.

While waiting for the results of my biopsy, along with the support of all of my friends and family, Simi stood firmly in my corner. She encouraged me in saying that, although it does not help having one of my closest friends as a sad statistic, the chances were extraordinarily high that I would be ok. Sure enough, it turned out that I was ok, but the breast cancer scare made me even more aware of how strongly and admirably Simi has withstood this ordeal in her life.

Well, a short time ago, Simi excitedly told me about the Avon Breast Cancer Walk that she intends to participate in this coming September. In my own enthusiasm for her, before I could even process what it meant, the words came out of my mouth “I’ll do it with you!” Little did I know that it would require a 16-week commitment to fundraising and training for a two day marathon that will span 40 miles. I really couldn’t back out when she told me that of all her friends and family, I was the only one she really wanted to join her in the walk.

So it’s too late now, I am committed! I would appreciate the support of all my friends and family, as I am required to raise $1750 to participate. Anything you can contribute to this cause would be most appreciated from the bottom of my heart, and is completely tax deductible. If you are interested in making a contribution, it can be done on-line by accessing my web-site as follows:

http://www.avonwalk.org

Click on “Support a Walker or Crew Member”

Click on “New York”

Type in my name “Vera Witkovsky”

The rest is self-explanatory. If you would prefer to send a check, let me know and I will mail you the appropriate coupon. Thank you for your time, and please forgive me for taking up so much space on this site.