Story of survival an inspiration
In just over three weeks, thousands of people will congregate in Calgary for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers.
With so many people touched by the disease, it's hard to pick out just one inspirational story of courage and perseverance.
Laurene Mitchell was diagnosed with breast cancer when her sons Quinn and Brock were four and two. "It was discovering a lump and then going through all the tests and then finding out it was indeed cancerous and having to make a decision whether I wanted a lumpectomy or mastectomy which to me was quite a no brainer cause I certainly didn't want it to come back."
Mitchell's children are now 12 and ten and she is the picture of health and fitness as she plays soccer with them in the park.
She's been cancer-free since 2003 and 2005 was the first year she entered the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.
"It was my way of dealing with the cancer. It was a great way for me to talk about it and get it out there and every time I talked about it I felt more at ease with the whole process myself."
This year's walk, held on July 23 and 24, will be Mitchell's seventh year participating in the fundraiser and her friends and family have given generously.
Mitchell herself is one of the top fundraisers and she's done it all on her own.
One of Laurene's friends, Kathy Hays, called her a female Tasmanian devil. "She's just going 100 km an hour all the time. She's good, just fun to walk with and it makes walking in this particular walk more poignant to walk with a survivor."
Mitchell's inspiration spreads even to her co-workers at Heritage Park, including CEO Alida Visbach. "She has probably the most positive attitude of anybody I've even met and considering what she's gone through in her life. She shares that positivity with everybody around her."
For her courage, her enthusiasm, and all she does to help others in their battle against cancer, Laurene Mitchell is out inspiring Albertan this week.
For more information about the walk, you can go to www.endcancer.ca.