Why I Walk

Vanessa Chamberlain was diagnosed with breast cancer March 18, 2016. For about a year doctors were watching a lump in her breast. They weren’t concerned the lump was cancerous; they continued to check it every six months and assured her it was just calcium. However, on her daughter’s birthday she received devastating news that she had invasive ductal carcinoma.

This disease does not run in her family, so this news caught her completely by surprise.

“The first thing I wanted to know, was I going to die?” said Vanessa.

Vanessa did not die, she persevered and made it through her cancer journey with the support and love from her friends, family and co-workers.

“When I wanted to quit chemotherapy after the second treatment, my family told me to keep going. My son would cook any and everything just to get me to eat. My job was flexible, never an unkind word or hassle for the days I needed off. Without all those people around me I would’ve just given up.”

Vanessa was fortunate enough to have a nurse navigator who she refers to as her “angel” encourage her along the way as well. The nurse navigator is the one who told her about the Pink on Parade walk and encouraged her to participate. This year will be her third year joining the Pink on Parade walk.

“We felt like a family and a part of something very important. I was glad to support the cause and other people battling this disease at the walk. “

Vanessa will walk on Saturday to show her gratitude and remember the women she’s lost to breast cancer.

“I walk because I am a breast cancer survivor who is forever grateful for the support, I received during my cancer journey. I walk to in some way I hope to be a support to those who may also be fighting cancer. I walk because I lost my very best friend to breast cancer and I carry her strength in my heart always.”