Community is stronger than cancer.®

Jacqueline Parker

Why I Stride: Jaqueline’s Story

Jacqueline Parker is training with the Cancer Support Community’s “Strides for Hope” fundraising running team, for the St. Luke’s Half-Marathon and 5K on April 27th. Here’s her touching story, and why she strides…

“My Dad was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine. The doctors tried to remove the cancer, but it was too far along and they gave him six months to live. Needless to say, that was a very long and hard six months for him as well as for our family. He passed away in 1994.

His sister Mary passed away from stomach cancer in 1981, and his sister Helen passed away in 1992 from pancreatic cancer.

My Mom is a breast cancer survivor since 2005. My family and friends have faced breast cancer, double breast cancer, Leukemia, colon cancer, skin cancer, head cancer, uterine cancer and throat cancer. My girlfriend’s daughter passed away from a brain tumor in 1996, just a month after she graduated from high school. Most recently in 2013, I learned that my cousin finished treatments for tonsil cancer. My beloved grand-cat “Pepper” also passed away from cancer in 2012, and he had to undergo the same treatments as most humans. So you can see, that I am running for a lot of family and friends, including pets. I just wish I could have done more for them.

In 1999, I had an Acoustic Neuronal Brain Tumor removed, which was not cancer. But the surgery caused me to lose my hearing on one side, and I have Bells Palsy in my one eye. I had to endure electric shocks to try to simulate the nerves in my paralyzed face. After my surgery, I knew that I had to do something to make my life worthwhile, since God gave me a second chance.

It took me 10 years, but I finally pulled myself together and started running in 2009. I heard about the Cancer Support Community when I ran my first St. Luke’s Half-Marathon in 2011. I also ran the 5K in 2012. This is my second year with the “Strides for Hope” team, and I plan to collect as many donations as possible to benefit the Cancer Support Community, and I invite you to support their programs, too. With my family history, I know firsthand of the challenges for patients and their families. We all could use a positive attitude and encouragement in life when we are down due to some unforeseen reason that we cannot control ourselves.

Those hills I run are very small compared to the pain and uphill battles of those with cancer. Whatever you do, never ever give up!!!”