It’s resolution season. January is when we take stock of what went well last year and what we’d like to change going forward. We’ll get more exercise, join a gym, break out the running shoes. We’ll change our diet to offset the indulgences of December’s party season. So many good intentions -- and then February comes with its shiny heart shaped chocolate boxes. A rainy March keeps the running shoes perched by the back door. And the gym? It’s slipped down the to-do list below groceries and taking the dog to the vet. Keeping resolutions is hard. But there’s a good reason to commit to those lifestyle changes that keep you healthy: it may lower your risk of cancer. Now’s the time.
Amy Dullard is an outlier. She was diagnosed with Stage III pancreatic cancer at 39; the average age is 71. Virtually none of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer apply to her, and she has no known genetic markers for this or any other cancer. Amy is a successful senior software engineer at Microsoft — historically, a role where men have been the majority. Her aim now is to continue setting a new bar — as a pancreatic cancer survivor.
Lydia Miner approved her image in the mirror: Vibrant and strong. She cleared her throat and tied a yellow bandana around her neck, covering a fading scar. She donned a T-shirt with the word “CAMP” emblazoned across her chest and headed out. Her shirt might have been more accurate had it read: Trailblazer.
Even though Sean Cryan was born with a blood disorder called thrombocytopathia-A, he never imagined that his 12-year-old daughter, Louisa, would be diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and that a few years later he would be diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease that often leads to AML.
Alexes Harris was devastated when she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. She was equally devastated to learn that as a woman of color, she didn’t have a bone marrow donor match.