Compelling stories have the power to evoke profound emotions and feelings that can inspire us to take action and create change. Read a few of Komen Colorado’s inspirational stories. We promise, you will walk away wanting to make an impact.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Alex Zaveral
2018 Pink Tie Guy Alex Zaveral and his wife, Julie, were recently engaged in May 2004 when Julie found a lump in her breast. She was 30 years old. Not too concerned about her finding, Julie went on vacation with Alex, and she made an appointment with her doctor for June First. Like many newly-engaged women, Julie was wrapped up in wedding planning. After securing their wedding ceremony venue, Julie wanted to cancel her appointment.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Ben Harrison
Pink Tie Guy Ben Harrison is a working husband and dad who strives to make his young family’s life as happy, normal, and comfortable as possible. That’s what most men want for their families, but Ben’s family is different than most. His wife Avery, who is in her early 40s, lives with metastatic breast cancer.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Brandon Linn
Life is not a cake walk when you have children who are 14, 12, and 9 years old. There’s homework, extracurricular schedules, and, of course, the hormones. Not to mention parents have their own work and social calendars. Life’s hard sometimes.
Now imagine having to tell those kids “mom has breast cancer.”
Brandon and Lisa Linn had to figure out how to share that news with their kids, in 2017.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Dustin Whistler
2018 Pink Tie Guy Dustin Whistler met his wife, Tamra Ward, about a year-and-a-half after Tamra had completed her breast cancer treatment, so he is quick to point out there are a host of people who helped her through the tough part of cancer.
But sometimes one of the toughest parts of breast cancer happens when treatment ends. There are follow-up appointments, tests, and scans to monitor whether the cancer has returned. Anticipating the “all clear” can weigh just as heavily on a spirit as being in the throes of treatment.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Frank Romer
2018 Pink Tie Guy Frank Romer is best known for getting his employer, Allstate Insurance, involved with Susan G. Komen® Colorado. For the past decade, Allstate has been a proud sponsor of Komen Colorado’s Race for the Cure and Pink Tie Affair.
Most stories like this one begin somewhere, and, for Frank, it wasn’t in an office building.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Jake Zwerdlinger
Jake Zwerdlinger’s 2018 Pink Tie Guy story is one of prevention. A story that began when his sister Molly decided she would get tested to see if she had a BRCA genetic mutation that greatly increases her chances of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
The Zwerdlinger siblings new their paternal grandmother was a breast cancer survivor, but they didn’t know much beyond that.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Paul Weissman
Like most Pink Tie Guys, former State Representative Paul Weissman, now Boulder County treasurer, never expected to be a 2018 Pink Tie Guy. While being a Pink Tie Guy is an honor, it’s a title that often is draped in loss and sadness.
Paul lost his sister, Ruth Schrichte, to breast cancer. At the time, her daughters were still in school. While no family deserves to lose a loved one to this disease, the loss seems more severe when children are involved.
Before Ruth died, she made sure her girls would be cared for, and Paul would be the one to manage their affairs.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Rodney Heiden
For nearly 10 years, Rodney Heiden, of Greeley, has provided the Komen® Colorado Race for the Cure® pace car. It’s not just any car, though. It’s his sister’s 2008 limited-edition Warriors in Pink Ford Mustang.
2018 Pink Tie Guy: Steve Staeger
For 2018 Pink Tie Guy Steve Staeger, breast cancer was always a cause he cared about, but it wasn’t an issue to which he could relate.
“I’ve known so many people who have struggled with it,” he told Susan G. Komen® Colorado. “People I’ve talked to in my life and my career, when you talk to them, you feel distant to it because it hadn’t happened to you.”
Then Steve’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It hit super close to home,” he said.
Avery Harrison: A Day in the Life of a Mom with MBC
Moms generally cling to the precious moments they have with their children. For mothers living with metastatic breast cancer, those moments are more fleeting and treasured. Susan G. Komen® Colorado conducted an interview with Avery Harrison via email. Avery, who lives with MBC, finds it easier these days to type out her thoughts. She shares this look into her daily life as a mom living with stage IV breast cancer.
Deaf Snowshoers Find Strength in Each Other and Offer Encouragement to Fellow Participants
It’s been said people have the ability to do more than they think it can, especially when they have no other option. This is the mantra many breast cancer patients choose as they tackle the disease. At this year’s Susan G. Komen® Colorado Snowshoe for the Cure, a group of deaf breast cancer survivors and co-survivors show the resilience of the human body and spirit.
Molly Zwerdlinger: Planning for the Future with BRCA2
In Molly Zwerdlinger’s words, “Cancer runs rampant in [her] family.” Her aunt passed away from ovarian cancer at age 34 leaving behind two young children.
“Which has always stuck with me,” Zwerdlinger says. “A young child should not have to live without their mother.”
It was her aunt’s death that prompted her to get tested for the BRCA mutation.
“Based on the fear of dying from cancer at a young age, I decided to get tested,” she says.
At age 27, Zwerdlinger, of Denver, found out she inherited the BRCA2 genetic mutation.