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June 2012 Survivor of the Month – Cayce Giradeau
Cayce Girardeau’s Story by Elizabeth H.R. Osterberger
Cayce Girardeau is a Savannah icon, riding around town in her vintage Ford Galaxie. She has a friendly smile and sparkling eyes. Looking at her, you might never guess that she is a cancer survivor. She says, “My initial diagnosis was 10 years ago and came only one year after my sister died from breast cancer. After surgery, chemo & radiation, I was cancer free for 5 years. In my 6th year, I found a tumor that had to be removed. Although I did chemo and radiation again, the cancer has spread to other parts of my body over the last 4 years.
This has been a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, but one that led me to make some key decisions to improve my life. Because of this, I left a high pressure job in Atlanta, moved home to Savannah, re-united with family, and spend time enjoying every day that life offers me. These are lessons that I wish everyone could learn.”
For her, Susan G. Komen for the cure is very important, “I did the 3 day walk a while back and it was the most moving time of my life. Komen provides support, kinship and hope for a cure. While a cure might not be in the cards for me, I believe that it will come in time for my sister’s daughters to live a long, healthy life.”
Cayce, like most of the other survivors I’ve met is a huge advocate for self exams and taking charge of your own health, “Your health is YOUR responsibility. You know your body better than anyone. Don’t wait for others to help you. I found both of my tumors myself. I firmly believe this is why I am alive today. Additionally, people need to know that a diagnosis is not a death sentence. Each of us is stronger and more capable than we ever believe we are. Fight, fight, fight!”
June’s survivor is a huge advocate and fundraiser for all things breast cancer related, “For each of the last 2 years, I have organized a scavenger hunt fundraiser around St. Patrick’s Day. The proceeds from the Shamrock Scramble are split between local affiliates for Susan G. Komen and Young Survival Coalition. In two years, we have raised over $3000 for each of these worthy groups,” says Cayce of her amazing efforts. I participated in the first Shamrock Scramble and it was a blast!
So through fundraising, spreading awareness about being responsible for your own health Cayce Girardeau is a shining star amongst our Savannah survivors!