July 15, 2015

Kickin’ Cancer draws crowd despite competition

By Annette Tait
For family members and friends of cancer patients and survivors -- and the survivors themselves -- it’s personal. And they will fight the fight not only for themselves or their loved ones, they’ll take on that fight for anyone who is dealing with the disease.
Linda Hellquist and Steve Peterson know the affects of cancer on family members and friends – close friends, according to Hellquist. They turned out to support the Kickin’ Cancer Ride and Drive and its efforts to raise money for the American Cancer Society last Saturday, and also to enjoy the bike ride, the fun, and the sun.
“You look at life a whole lot differently,” Hellquist said about how dealing with cancer affected her. “You appreciate more things, the simple little things.”
Kickin’ Cancer rider Danica Krein knows that feeling well. Her fight against cancer started in March 2011, when she noticed that a tiny mole – the size of the point of a ballpoint pen -- on her arm was irritated and itching. There was also redness and some bleeding at the site.
“When I made the appointment, I asked if it could be removed. They said they didn’t do that, I had to start with a consultation,” Krein said.
When the doctor saw the mole, the game plan changed immediately.
“She said ‘you need to remove that, you’re in trouble’,” Krein recalled. “[The diagnosis] was devastating. Absolutely devastating. There’s no other word for it.”
The mole was removed during her initial appointment, but her fight with cancer was only beginning. Krein was diagnosed with stage III melanocytic inverted with type A cancer, a form of melanoma skin cancer.
“It started as a mole and went into my lymph nodes,” Krein said. “I had skin margin surgery a week and a half later.”
Skin margin surgery is a procedure where additional tissue is removed from around the site of where the original cancer was removed. The objective is to eliminate any remaining cancerous or precancerous cells. In Krein’s case, the surgery wasn’t enough.

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