A Team Effort
Breast cancer survivor Rhonda Kile races for early detection
On Jan. 24, Rhonda Kile, who is three years cancer-free, turned “60 years young.”
“I admit I was feeling rather hesitant about approaching my sixth decade on the planet,” she says. “Then someone reminded me of how fortunate I am to have beaten breast cancer and be able to celebrate another birthday.”
With no history of breast cancer in her immediate family, Kile was shocked with her diagnosis after a routine mammogram in 2009. But the cancer was caught early, and after enduring a lumpectomy, lymph node removal and radiation, she is healthy and ready to run in her third Race for the Cure on April 21.
Throughout her treatment, Kile kept moving.
“I really believe it helped me,” she says. “I just made myself get up and go. I tried to keep a positive attitude.”
The compassion and support from her husband, friends and medical providers have also kept her encouraged.
In this year’s Race for the Cure, Kile’s co-workers will join her, with a goal of raising $15,000. Seventy-five percent of raised funds will stay in the community and 25 percent go will to research.
“Team MAMMagRAPHICS is a play on our company name, AlphaGraphics, but more importantly, it stands for early detection,” she says.
En route to their goal, the team celebrates its accomplishments with five achievement markers.
At $5,000, team members colored their hair pink. At $7,500, Kile got a tattoo of a kite featuring a pink ribbon and a tail with three pink ribbons for each year of survival.
“To me it stands for survival, courage and hope,” she says.
At $10,000, five team members will shave their heads, including Kile, as a tribute and a symbol of solidarity to the courageous women fighting breast cancer in the community.
And, upon reaching $15,000, Kile’s husband Michael will shave his head too.
Although Kile beat cancer, she’s still fighting.
“I realize that still being here carries a sense of duty to help others who are struggling with the disease, as well as to help work toward an end to breast cancer, once and for all,” she says.