Marathon effort by survivor to reduce breast cancer rates
BREAST cancer survivor Connie McKee is on a mission to ensure no other woman receives the terrifying diagnosis by helping to raise funds for research by tackling the New York Marathon.
The Ipswich real estate agent will run on behalf of National Breast Cancer Foundation, with funds being donated to helping researchers improve how breast cancer is diagnosed, managed and treated to prevent more women from dying.
The foundation said a staggering one in seven women would be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, meaning 53 Australian women faced being diagnosed every day. This year, 3058 women and 32 men will lose their lives to the disease.
Mrs McKee was diagnosed in October 2014 following a health check-up.
"I was feeling well, but I had the feeling something wasn't right," she said.
"I had some tests and everything came back good, so I asked my doctor if I should have a mammogram.
"There was a tiny cyst, as well as a shadow.
"The radiographer kept insisting the doctor biopsy the shadow as well as the cyst, and that's how it was found."
Mrs McKee decided to forgo chemotherapy and opted for radiation and surgery instead.
It's been a scary and difficult road, but the Karalee wife and mother has just reached her five-year mark of being cancer free.
When she isn't selling homes, Mrs McKee focuses her attention on keeping fit and giving back to those who helped during her cancer journey.
She hired a personal trainer and took part in treks overseas and half marathons to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Mrs McKee said she has raised almost $20,000 for the cause.
Next month she will run 42km across the five boroughs of New York in one of the world's biggest and most well-known running events.
This will be the first time she has run the New York Marathon which will be held on Monday, November 4.
To prepare her body for the mammoth task, Mrs KcKee has kept a strict training schedule.
"I started running most days. My short days are 10km and I pretty much do that every day," she said.
"Most weeks I am running between 70-90 kilometres a week.
"I run through the back streets of Karalee usually at 5.30am. I look forward to getting out in the fresh air and it helps set me up for the rest of the day.
"What I do in the afternoon after a really busy day is pilates. In the last 12 months that has really added to my strength and why I think I have stayed injury-free," Mrs McKee said.
The Ipswich resident is looking forward to visiting the Big Apple and seeing many of its famous landmarks as she runs past.
To support Connie McKee donate at http://run.gofundraise.com.au/page/ConnieMcKee0.