MVPP 09.24.19: Lee Cambata, Ambassador for Great Pink Run with Glanbia

Lee Cambata is 33 years old and lives with her husband and 3-year-old son in Highland Park, IL. She runs a body positive health and fitness coaching business and loves cooking tons of healthy food. She also enjoys traveling the world, working out at home and in a Bar Method studio. Right after Mother’s Day 2017, she found a lump in her left breast. She called her doctor immediately and she had me schedule a mammogram and ultrasound as quickly as possible. Based on the imagining, the radiologist believed that it was breast cancer. A biopsy a few days later confirmed that she had Stage II triple negative breast cancer. Over the next eight months she went through IVF for fertility preservation, four cycles of A/C chemotherapy and four cycles of Taxol chemotherapy, a lumpectomy with immediate reconstruction and reduction on the other side, and 23 rounds of radiation. As of January 29, 2018, she was in remission.  

In time for her first mammogram and ultrasound, she started to have soreness and tightness in her chest. All of her doctors said that is was scar tissue from her surgeries. During her ultrasound, one of her lymph nodes was enlarged. Immediately, her breast surgeon ordered a biopsy. It confirmed that her cancer had returned. She was rushed into a PET scan two days later and on September 14, 2018, it confirmed that her cancer had spread to lymph nodes in her left armpit, left neck, left breast tissue and left pectoral muscle. She now had Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Her team referred her to the University of Chicago and she was put on an immunotherapy trial that has shrunk many of her masses. 

Being a part of this race, that fundraises for the research of metastatic breast cancer, made total sense to her. This research is giving me more time with her family. And gives her hope that there will be a cure in the near future. As an ambassador, she wants others to know they are not alone in these diagnoses and treatments. 

Having been held in Ireland since 2011, the Great Pink Run with Glanbia is coming to the United States for the first time – exclusively to Chicago’s Diversey Harbor on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8:30 a.m.  Research A Cure is the new Illinois nonprofit that is bringing the run here, specifically to raise money for researchers in the United States to collaborate with researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland on new treatment options and a cure for breast cancer. This year, all proceeds are being donated to the University of Chicago’s Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research, where internationally recognized Dr. Geoffrey Greene is working on identifying and testing novel approaches for metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread to other organs/tissues). The ultimate goal is to transform breast cancer from an often fatal disease (there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer) to a long-term, treatable illness. The event features a 5K fun walk/jog/run and a certified 10K, all appropriate for families, as well as pink festival with music, face painting, etc. Irish Olympian/5000m World Champion Sonia O’Sullivan will lead the run. 

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