Thursday, May 6, 2010

News Story out of Vermont...

I like to record any good news stories that I find. I thought my PMP buddies might like to hear this one. On a related note, I went for a run again tonight--not quite as far as I had hoped (going for 4 miles) but still pretty good for having a cold and being only 4 months post-MOAS!

Here's the text of the story:

Cancer survivor works to help other families

South Burlington, Vermont - May 5, 2010

Carrie and Michael Premsagar are training for the Vermont City Marathon-- each of them running 13.1 miles. They are splitting the course, but sharing a milestone. It's been one year since Carrie had a life-saving treatment for cancer.

"I had a surgery on May 13th that lasted about 13 hours," she said. "It involved very extensive surgery, removing all of the affected organs in my body and scraping the others, and then going through long, painful chemotherapy procedure."

It was at the 2008 marathon-- Carrie's sixth-- that the avid runner realized something was wrong.

"During that training time, I just did not feel myself," she said. "I ran the marathon, and actually at mile 20 got really sick. I was able to complete the marathon, but it was the weeks after that things just started to feel not right."

Doctors detected tumors-- what they first thought was ovarian cancer was later found to be a rare cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei, otherwise known as PMP.

"The tumor starts in the appendix and then it ruptures," she explained, "and spills all these cancer cells into your abdominal cavity. And these cells move with the peritoneal fluid and essentially attach and affect all the organs in your body."

Friends found all sorts of ways to raise money to support Carrie's treatment and recovery. Heather Main went pond-skimming at Bolton Valley last year-- in her wedding dress.

"It was the craziest thing I've ever done," Main told WCAX News in 2009, "but when a friend is sick and you'd do anything to take their pain away, this is what I could do to raise money."

The fundraising effort was so successful in financing Carrie's treatment, she is now working to pay it forward. She's cancer-free and raising money to support other families facing life-threatening illnesses. The Carrie Premsagar Foundation is hosting a Denim and Bling Dance at the Sunset Ballroom in South Burlington on May 7, and a 5K run at Dorset Park on May 16.

"Really it's our mission to say, 'You were there supporting us, now let us support you,'" she said. "And really it's about hope. When you think about where we were a year ago with all of these unknowns, here we are, doing well. We all have a chance to be a miracle."

Carrie says running is therapy, and the marathon is a physical and mental goal-- one that will be measured in much more than miles.

"On that day, it will be such a celebration of how far we've come," she said.

For more information:

Kate Duffy - WCAX News