Living Hope

Catherine DeCoske

"Living Hope"

Since May, I've been training for VeloSano, Cleveland Clinic’s annual Bike to Cure event. All the fundraising efforts benefit cancer research and prevention. This event is personal. I was diagnosed 20 years ago with triple negative breast cancer when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I was worried about what would happen to my son if I underwent chemotherapy before he was born. To save my child from chemotherapy in the womb and lose a breast, I didn’t care. I’d lose my right arm for my child. My husband said it was too dangerous to wait. He encouraged me to fight back against the cancer right away so that I could be around to raise our son. With my medical team, we came up with a plan. Have a mastectomy while pregnant, two weeks after that induce labor, and then two weeks after that start chemo. Our son, Adam, was born healthy. It was the best of times and the worst of times, but he made it all good. But I've had no recurrence of cancer and am so proud of the young man her son is turning out to be. He’s in college doing Air Force ROTC. To see him achieve and start on his own is very important to me and my husband because I didn't know if I would be here to see it. Supporting cancer research is vital to me. There was not much information available during my journey and I want to change that and help others is why I decided to ride. I ride for myself, for other women, and all people that have been affected by cancer and so that research can help fund and maybe find a cure. That’s the whole thing about research. I don’t just want better outcomes. I want a cure so that nobody has to go through these things again.