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Cheryl Untermann: In honor of mom

Deserving a lifetime

Almost every person I talk with has had some connection to breast cancer. Breast cancer touches far too many lives. My name is Cheryl Untermann, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have just completed my sixth Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in San Francisco on September 5-7, 2008.


Kimberly, Cheryl, Sue & Mary

Meeting the challenge

The Breast Cancer 3-Day has challenged me to achieve goals that I thought were beyond my reach. This challenged me to shamelessly ask for money for the cause year after year, to talk to newspaper and television reporters about the walks, and to promote the breast cancer walks in any way that I can.

Dealing with loss

My personal story began on Thanksgiving Day 1997 when my family and I learned that our mom, Virginia Desin, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. After a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and five years, we thought the cancer was gone for good. Then in 2001, we found out that the cancer had returned, and were devastated. I went to every doctor appointment and every treatment with my mom. I would have done anything to save her. But after a very brave battle and never complaining, we lost our mom to breast cancer in August 2003, the day of my 16th wedding anniversary. Then the anger and the sorrow hit me.


Cheryl and her husband, Dennis



Walking for a cause

I needed to channel my grief somewhere and so my new walking journey began. I did not want another husband to lose a wife, a son or daughter to lose a mother, or a grandchild to lose her grandmother. At the time I had three young nieces who adored their grandmother – only to lose her too soon.

That's when I came across a magazine ad for the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Pounding pavement for 60 miles is a great way to work through your emotions, including the hundreds of miles walked for training. I telephoned my best friend Sue Peterson, and she agreed to walk with me in our first walk, which was the 2004 San Francisco Breast Cancer 3-Day. Sue also walked with me again this year. I thought that I would do one walk, raise a lot of money, and then I would be healed of all my grief. Well it didn't quite happen that way. I have now walked in San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. I have personally raised over $50,000 in the five years of walking, and I am not about to quit yet.


Breast Cancer 3-Day Camp in San Francisco



Be inspired and inspire others to walk for breast cancer awareness

The Breast Cancer 3-Day raises money, yes, but it is so much more. It's about inspiration and inspiring each of us to do, and to be our very best. So I close this with encouragement to consider signing up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Log on to the Web site and read and view photos from the walks. Read some of the stories of the walkers. By sharing our stories, we can encourage others to join the fight. This is what the Breast Cancer 3-Day is about and dedicated to.

I guarantee that the Breast Cancer 3-Day will be an experience of a lifetime. I walk because I believe everyone deserves a lifetime!

Sources for more information on breast cancer

American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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