Changing the course of breast cancer
June 1, 2010
Mya Drexler was with her best friend, Tracey Pablo, the day that Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Drexler knew, without a shadow of a doubt, she would do whatever she could to support her friend. The two women have an indestructible bond. They are both members of the deaf community and for more than 15 years, they have shared the trials and triumphs of living with a disability.
Today, Pablo is a two-year breast cancer survivor. In solidarity with other survivors and supporters, she and Drexler along with four other friends will walk 60 miles in three days as part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event Aug. 27-29 in Denver.
The event is a fundraiser for breast cancer research and local community programs supporting education, screening and treatment. Walks are held in various cities throughout the country and thousands of people participate every year.
Each member of Drexler and Pablo’s team, Deaf Dragonfly, must raise a minimum of $2,300 to participate in the walk. Drexler has raised more than $800 so far, but needs $1,500 more or she will have to drop out.
On Saturday, June 5, Yellow Snow Ice Cream & Coffee in Park City will host a fundraiser benefiting Drexler’s cause from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature an ice cream eating contest, refreshments and a silent auction with items from local businesses. Attendance is free; participation in the contest costs $50 for a four-person team.
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In a letter to potential sponsors, Drexler writes about Pablo’s courageous fight against breast cancer. "Tracey never imagined this horrible disease would arrive at her doorstep, an unwelcome guest that changed her life forever."
Although Pablo and countless other women have defeated breast cancer, there are millions more who are currently fighting the disease or have not yet been diagnosed. According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
"You may think that breast cancer is something that only afflicts your co-worker, a neighbor or even a close friend," Drexler writes.
Drexler has lived in Park City on and off for 14 years. She was born deaf and mainly uses sign language to communicate. She works with Chrysalis, the local service that provides support to individuals with disabilities, and she is also involved in a motivational speaking business called Butterflies and Roaches.
She says that the entire team plans to complete the 60-mile walk. The participants will cover about 20 miles each day and will camp out at night. Drexler has never participated in a 3-Day for the Cure event before but says she is excited to support Pablo and other survivors.
"Together, we will make a difference in the fight to find a cure," she writes. "As a united front, we say, ‘No more.’ We say no more to the pain and suffering experienced by women who never thought it would happen to them."
All net proceeds from Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure events fund global breast cancer research and local programs. According to the organization’s website, every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 27 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant.
For more information about 3-Day for the Cure, visit http://www.the3day.org . To contribute to Drexler’s entry fees, search under her name or the team name, Deaf Dragonfly, under the "Donate" tab.