This past spring, Sandee Stratton discovered a lump in her breast – a lump that hadn’t been detected in any of her previous mammograms. After many tests, it was confirmed: she had breast cancer. On June 8, 2015, Sandee had a lumpectomy and a sentinel node biopsy, and the doctor deemed the surgeries a complete success. She is now in the midst of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Sandee attributes her positive outcome to working with her doctors and nurses to catch the cancer early. The lump did not show up in her mammogram, so listening to her gut and seeing her doctor was critical in discovering her cancer.
As she navigates through her treatment, she has remained true to her passions – mediation, yoga, and running. They’ve even provided comfort. “When fear or doubt creep in, I try to focus on things that make me feel strong and confident. Running makes me feel physically and mentally strong.”
With a love of running, a determination to feel healthy, and the desire to honor other family members diagnosed with breast cancer, Sandee registered to run the B.A.A. Half Marathon® with Dana-Farber on October 11. Although she was in the middle of chemo when she registered, she knew she wanted to do something to pay it forward.
“A new personal challenge is calling me. I feel blessed to have Dana-Farber on my side, and I have seen firsthand the dedication of the staff. I want to contribute in my way and continue on the path of staying strong and positive. What better way to do this than run and help raise money for cancer research.”
Sandee’s last chemo appointment is scheduled to take place days before the B.A.A. Half Marathon. Chemotherapy is extremely taxing on the body, and training to run 13.1 miles during chemo is an incredible accomplishment. Sandee’s commitment is so motivating and uplifting that she was chosen to be the Team Hero on Dana-Farber’s Half Marathon team. As the Team Hero, Sandee has attended team meetings and shared her story to serve as an inspiration for the nearly 500 other Dana-Farber B.A.A. Half Marathon teammates that are participating in the race.
One of those teammates is Steve Kearns, her future husband. Kneeling on the Boston Marathon® finish line, an iconic spot for the two avid runners, Steve proposed to Sandee after her first chemo treatment. United by a mission to conquer cancer and a love for running, the pair is thrilled to mark Sandee’s completed chemo with a very special 13.1 mile run.
Learn more about Dana-Farber’s B.A.A. Half Marathon team.
Assistant Director, Development Communications