Last year I was running up to 10KM every 3 days, cycling up to 100KM through the week on a road bike and I was training for a mini triathlon at Kelso Conservation Area. In March 2018, I spotted a questionable mole. The test results came back as melanoma, BRAF stage III. I am very lucky Ontario Health just stamped the approval of BRAF medications in November 2017. I was like anyone else when you hear the word ‘CANCER’. I lost my mom to cancer and my dad had melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. I had two surgeries back to back, the tumor was 2mm and they removed 20 lymph nodes. Two of the lymph nodes came back microscopic positive.

On September 23, 2018 I will be running the 5 KM route at Strides for Melanoma Mississauga while currently on treatment. I would encourage anyone to try new things and prove to yourself you can do it! Just go slow and steady. I am not a fast runner, just a steady runner. When I run I listen to some good music and I go into a zone, this is my time to de-stress. You start out slow and easy, if you have to walk 1KM, walk it and then run the next. My sister is a personal trainer and she has a cancer client and was able to get her back up on the bike and running so the two of us have been working together along with my husband.
If it was not support of my family, best friends and co-workers I would have thrown in the towel. I truly was hit hard this year. Cancer diagnosis in March, two surgeries to remove it, and then my dad passed in May from conjunctive heart failure.

Story provided by Karen Fermosa

Karen is also selling her artwork to help reach her fundraising goals. See her lovely work below.


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