Thursday, October 25, 2012

Her Story

Katy Luedtke is a 7 year breast cancer survivor

The Prince George Spruce Kings will be recognizing women's health issues and Breast Cancer Awareness month with their annual Pink in the Rink game on Saturday October 27. The players will be dressed with pink accessories on their normal game day uniforms and the Canadian Cancer Society will be on hand to help raise awareness for the prevention of cancer.

Also attending the game will be Katy Luedtke, a breast cancer survivor and step-mom of current Spruce Kings player Jeremiah Luedtke. Luedtke's story is one that is shared by many women and accounts for almost 25% of all cancer in women. First discovering a lump in 2005, Luedtke tells her story of being diagnosed with cancer and the journey she went on to become cancer free as well as the life style changes to prevent the return of cancer.

On Saturday night, Katy Luedtke will be the Spruce Kings honouree of the night and will be dropping the puck to help raise awareness of cancer risks and prevention of the disease. Katy is very passionate about getting the message out there and being proactive in the cause to find a cure. She has particpated in three Susan G Komen 60 mile walks personally raising over $20,000 and participating on team that raised $225,800 this past September.

Katy will be wearing "lots of pink" proudly on Saturday night and will be sharing her story in person. Prior to the game I was able to sit down and talk with Katy. Here is her story.

download audio file

After the interview, Katy Luedtke sent me an email thanking me for the chance to share her story. She also added some more information to our interview (which I shortened to the version above). Because this is her story, I thought it only relevant to add her email here as well.

I was diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 42 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer that was HER2 Positive and finished my treatment in 2010 the day before my 1st 60 Mile 3 Day walk when I was then considered in remission. I am now a 7 year survivor.

Katy Luedtke on her 60 Mile Walk

I had a lumpectomy to have the lump removed, then 4 months of Chemo, 7 weeks of radiation, 1 year of Herceptin and then 5 years of Tamoxifen via a daily pill for my full treatment over 5 years. Tamoxifen acts like a key broken off in the lock that prevents any other key from being inserted. Preventing estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked. Herceptin is for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer that is Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 – positive (HER2) which I was. I was given this treatment because my invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor negative diagnosis as well.

I am Jeremiah’s stepmom and met Jerry, Jeremiah’s dad, in early 2006 when I was still undergoing my Herceptin treatments and he would come and sit with me when I had my Herceptin treatments. We met in 2006 and married in 2008 and I’ve known Jeremiah since he was 11.

The Team that I am on for the Susan G Komen 3 Day 60 Mile walk is called “Kindred Spirits.” We raised $225,800 in 2012 alone. In the first 2 years we raised over $200,000 each year. Since I’ve been on the team, over the past 3 years, we have raised over $650,000 and I personally have raised over $20,000 in the past 5 years supporting Breast Cancer.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the most widely known, largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the United States. Since its inception in 1982, Komen has invested nearly $2 Billion for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the U.S. and through partnerships in more than 50 countries.

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