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by • May 31, 2014 • Guest Blogger, Walker Story, WalktheWalkComments (0)1781

Monthly Walker Story: Sheila Eckert Demonstrates Heart!

In this Monthly Walker Story, learn all about why participant Sheila Eckert decided to walk.
The answer came one morning while watching the Today show. There was an advertisement for The MoonWalk. Intrigued, I did some research to see if this was the marathon I would join. After reading the history and the info on the charity, I decided I would do this walk in spite of not being a night person at this point in my life. I had previously run one marathon and was curious as to how it would be to walk one. Before I had a chance to register for last year’s walk, my doctor told me that there was an issue with my mammogram results and that I would need to see a specialist and have some additional tests. I was scared and distracted.  After further testing I was diagnosed with HER2+ invasive breast cancer.

After the second opinion and lots of decision making, I opted for neo-adjuvant treatment. Chemo first. Based on the dates it seemed I would be able to ‘walk the walk’ so I registered and continued training while undergoing my first series of chemo. The walk and the charity became much more personal and I want everyone to be able to get their mammogram.

The walk was a week after my fourth chemo treatment. I told myself I could do this.
It was an amazing evening. I was on my own for the walk but that would be fine. The pre-walk festivities were lots of fun and everyone was friendly and excited to be there. I walked with a group of people until mile 10 when I stopped for the porta-potty and found myself alone. After several blocks two wonderful women from Wales caught up to me and we did the final 16.2 miles together. It was physically the hardest thing I had ever done and my newfound friends were so amazing in encouraging me to finish.   My husband was at the finish as I was coming thru and I cried – finishing was so emotional. I did it.

I have since finished chemo and have had a bi-lateral mastectomy with silicone implant reconstruction. I am still going thru Herceptin treatment and will have my last treatment 10 days before the 2014 MoonWalk. This year it will be the half marathon and I will be joined by some friends that are willing to do a 13.1mile night walk in their bra. Looking forward to bra decorating, training and walking the walk. I plan to make this an annual event. A mammogram helped me find my cancer at an early stage and I hope that money I raise will allow others early detection and peace of mind.

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