Beating down breast cancer
Lore Pietrzak, 44, was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer this past July.
She is a survivor, aided by the loyalty and comfort of her family, friends and coworkers.
Her husband, Mark, and a few of her colleagues from M.G. Mechanical Contracting in Woodstock, recently shaved their heads as she began chemotherapy treatments.
“It’s important to get a good support network,” she said.
“Whether it is through Breast Cancer services, family or friends – find a good support team.”
The Woodstock resident has two daughters, Larissa, 16, and Lynsie, 13.
She said an important part of her recovery has been trying to stay positive for them and setting a good example.
“I want to show my daughters that if life throws something at you, you can fight through it,” she said. “I believe it is a good example to show my daughter’s strength, positive attitude and perseverance in difficult times.”
Pietrzak said she was fortunate enough to discover the cancer in its earlier stages, stressing early detection is key.
Reaching out and getting involved with support groups also has helped tremendously with her recovery as she believes groups remind people they are not alone in their struggles.
“Groups such as American Cancer Society provide assistance by way of items like free wigs and basic group support,” she said.
She also noted breast cancer walks have been especially helpful and she looks forward to hitting the pavement at Woodstock’s upcoming walk/run Oct. 21.
Her team will consist of women she works with, friends and her two daughters.
“Ten years ago my co-workers and I started doing this.
“I participated in the walk, never dreaming [breast cancer] would happen to me. Each year, the walk has gotten larger,” she said.
“I’m currently undergoing chemo, but I am determined to be able to do this walk on Oct. 21.”
Pietrzak said keeping a positive attitude is vital for those whose lives have been touched, whether directly or indirectly, by breast cancer.
“We’ve really come a long way with treatments,” she said.
The 12th annual Care4 Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk will be held at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Woodstock North High School, 3000 Raffel Road, Woodstock.
More than 2,200 participants are expected to participate in the event.
“It is a great cause that Family Health Partnership has started for the women of McHenry County,” said Pietrzak.
“They have done a phenomenal job with its organization, [and] I believe this is a very beneficial event since the funds stay local here in McHenry County.”
For information, visit www.hpclinic.org.