by Chris Brewer
Team LIVESTRONG is taking on the 2014 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend in Virginia Beach on March 16. Hear from teammate Rozalyn O’Toole as she tells us how she got involved with the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the fight against cancer with Team LIVESTRONG. Join Rozalyn as she takes on the Shamrock Marathon to honor her father’s memory by registering at LIVESTRONG.org/Shamrock2014.
How have you been affected by cancer?
For the past 5 years of my life, I have been touched by so many cancer patients as an oncology nurse. Each of them has touched my heart in an unimaginable way and left a lasting impression. On April 16, 2013, my life changed when my dad was diagnosed with stage IV head and neck cancer at 54 years young. He endured a very complex surgery that most patients would not have survived. He completed 6 doses of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments. Almost 6 months after he was diagnosed, he lost his battle after the cancer had spread through his body.
Why did you join Team LIVESTRONG?
I joined Team LIVESTRONG two weeks after my dad passed. I felt like my world was turned upside down after losing him, and I knew that I needed to do something big to honor my amazing father. With LIVESTRONG, I will help others affected by cancer, and I will run my very first marathon—something my dad told me I should do for my 30th birthday.
Have you used the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s services?
The LIVESTRONG Guidebook has been a saving grace to many of my patients. I provided the book to a patient at her initial consultation. She returned about a week later and stated that it had been her “saving grace” as she was now able to stay organized, even with “chemo brain!” I was amazed by the quality and the thought that was put into creating such a user-friendly book.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
LIVESTRONG means living the life worth living.
Share one piece of advice you would give to someone affected by cancer.
In times where you feel like you can’t handle the stress caused by cancer, talk about it. Lean on your loved ones, reach out to your support system and always remember that you are never alone.
Register to join Rozayln and the rest of Team LIVESTRONG at the 2014 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend. Visit LIVESTRONG.org/Shamrock2014.