Making Strides of Sarasota Manatee

Take Stock in Hope

 

Join STOCK Development and Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

Meet Six Inspiring Women and Read their Stories of Healing and Hope

 

According to the American Cancer Society, women have about a 13% chance of developing breast cancer sometime in their life. Even if you recognize there is a risk of breast cancer, whether because of family history or because you found a lump during a self-exam, it is still jarring to face the reality of a diagnosis.

 

We have six women here at STOCK Development who have faced the diagnosis, fought back, and found hope through their breast cancer journeys. These strong women proudly share their stories in the hopes that anyone reading this will take action, whether that is making a commitment to perform monthly self-exams, scheduling their mammograms, or encouraging the women in their lives to do the same. And as members of STOCK Development’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Team, they also hope you will consider joining the team to help raise funds for research, support for breast cancer patients, and assistance providing access to screenings.

 

For Julie Marquardt, Luxury Homes Vice President of Home Building Operations, screenings have been an important, albeit anxiety-producing, part of her health care regimen. “My mom had breast cancer in her 40s, and she had a very difficult road until her passing,” Julie says. “I had a lot of anxiety leading up to my screenings, but it was always a relief when I would receive a letter of positive news in my patient portal.”

 

The news changed for Julie in July 2021. “Despite no lump or physical symptoms, a mammogram showed microcalcifications on the films that needed further imaging it looked like a branch of white specs on the screen,” she says. “After a biopsy, I received a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, which is a Stage 0, early breast cancer.”

 

Julie sought treatment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The recommended treatment path was a lumpectomy with about three weeks of daily radiation followed by daily hormone suppression pills. “I never, for a moment, considered that path, despite concise education from my doctor and the effectiveness of that option; I was confident in my decision to proceed with a double mastectomy, thereby eliminating the need for radiation treatment and medication,” Julie says. She underwent surgery on Oct. 25 a double mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy and reconstruction.

 

Her experience has made her an even bigger advocate for screening. “There are many different types of breast cancer, but early detection is the best chance to get the best possible outcome, physically and mentally,” Julie says. “It is a scary journey, but my faith, confidence in my medical team, advocacy, and support from my fiancé, friends, family, co-workers, even fellow boot campers at the gym got me through the entire process.”

 

Julie is proud to be walking in and raising money for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “I want to encourage the local community to join the walk to remind mothers, wives, daughters, aunts, and friends to stay current with screenings,” she says. “I hope too that we can meet or even exceed our fundraising goal so we can help support and advocate for others touched by the disease.”

Julie’s diagnosis served as a reminder for Omaida Garcia, Luxury Homes Purchasing Systems Manager, to schedule her mammogram, which she missed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Omaida doesn’t have an extensive family history of breast cancer, and she didn’t have any physical symptoms, but when she went for her mammogram, the films showed microcalcifications. Biopsies and a pathology report resulted in a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ, DCIS, stage 0.

 

Omaida proceeded with a lumpectomy, but when pathology came back, her diagnosis changed to HER2+ invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 1. Her treatment path changed, too, and included three months of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.

 

“I can’t help but wonder if I had gone for my mammogram in 2020 if my diagnosis would have remained DCIS, eliminating the need for chemotherapy and radiation treatment,” she says. “The recommended treatment path could potentially be much less extensive and less aggressive if cancer is found at the earliest possible stage, so that is why I cannot stress enough the importance of getting recommended cancer screenings on time.”

 

A cancer diagnosis changes your perspective. Omaida has always kept a weekend routine caring for her family and home, but after everything she’s been through, she now wants to get out more to enjoy and experience life. “I want to spend more time exploring with my husband, our adult sons, and their significant others,” she says. “I also have to say that I had so much support from my co-workers, and I learned that it is OK to accept help from others, so I want to look for opportunities to help and advocate for others, too.”

 

Susan Krautsack, Custom Homes Selections Coordinator, is another prime example of the importance of screening.

 

While working and living a busy life in downtown Chicago and feeling great Susan went for her annual mammogram. She was surprised that the mammogram showed microcalcifications. A biopsy and diagnosis of DCIS, stage 0, followed.

 

Susan proceeded with a lumpectomy. But when the margins weren’t clean and the lumpectomy needed to be repeated, she chose a different path and opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

 

Because of her experience, Susan is passionate about screening and stresses the importance of going every year at the same time and ensuring a radiologist reviews the films. “Early detection can make a bump in the road potentially easier to navigate,” she says. “Gentleman, if someone you love in your life has not been screened, encourage her to make an appointment.”

 

The fight against breast cancer is not only a physical one but a mental one, too. Marta Fischer, Sales Administrative Assistant, says her breast cancer journey brought anxiety. “The presence of anxiety can negatively affect your health,” she says. “Anxiety increases negative thoughts, which, in turn, release a cascade of stress hormones into the body that will lower our immunity. I read somewhere that learning to control stress and worry is a conscious decision.”

 

Marta decides to practice relaxation as a response to calm her mind and relax her body. “I also concentrate on my healing with positive emotions from friends and family, such as love, joy, and happiness,” she says. “Never worry alone. Involve your loved ones.”

 

Michele Mohn, Sales Administrative Assistant, is the youngest of four daughters. She and her sisters lost their mother to breast cancer, so Michele has always been diligent about annual mammograms and self-exams. She felt a lump high up on her right breast during a self-exam.

 

“After a needle biopsy, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47,” she says. “My surgeon showed me that cancer had shown up on the last five annual mammograms, but the mass was so high up on my breast it was at the edge of the film and had been missed by the radiologists reading them. I firmly believe in the importance of annual mammography for the early detection of breast cancer. My situation was just unusual. But, I want to stress the importance of self-examination, as well.”

 

At the time of her diagnosis, genetic testing was only recommended if there was a strong family history of breast cancer, and one relative did not warrant testing. Michele, with her team of doctors, chose to have a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.

 

“Fast forward several years, and two of my three sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer,” Michele says. “My sisters and I had genetic testing and found that three out of the four of us have the BRCA2 gene. With this information and advice from my team of doctors, I decided to proactively have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.”

 

During the reconstruction phase after her bilateral mastectomy, Michele felt a lump on the left side of her chest. Her surgeon removed the lump during her implant surgery. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer once again,” Michele says. “The good news was that this was not metastasized cancer, it was considered a primary or new breast cancer occurrence. Although very rare after a bilateral mastectomy, sometimes things just happen.”

 

Michele underwent more surgery, another round of chemotherapy, and radiation again. She recalls asking her oncologist during her second cancer diagnosis if he felt he would be able to manage it. Michele will never forget his response. He said, “Oh yes, I can manage it. But I’m not here to manage it. I’m going to cure it.”

 

Now, at the age of 66, Michele is 19 years out from her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and 12 years out from her second. “My oncologist was right he cured me,” she says. “I’ve seen so many medical advances in early detection, genetic testing, and the treatment of breast cancer over these many years. Big advances and big strides equal huge hope for all survivors and anyone newly diagnosed with breast cancer going forward.”

 

She has been through so much, but Michele says cancer has given her some gifts along the way. “I was never alone on this path,” she says. “Others walked with me. The incredible support and care by my husband, children, sisters, and friends still amaze me. It humbled me in a good way, making me mindful of what is important in life and what I can let go of.”

 

Judy Seale, Executive Assistant , fought breast cancer in 1990. At the time, she was back to work shortly after her surgery and worked through her chemotherapy treatments. Her care team was very positive and gave her the confidence that everything would be OK. Through it all, and to this day, Judy focuses on her faith and humor, the important things in life, and appreciates everything even more.

 

STOCK Development is proud to have such strong women on our team. They are inspiring. They are advocates for other women. They are SURVIVORS!

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Sarasota Manatee
Saturday, October 22, 2022

Why We Support
American Cancer Society by Making Strides
 

Join STOCK Development and Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

Meet Six Inspiring Women and Read their Stories of Healing and Hope

 

According to the American Cancer Society, women have about a 13% chance of developing breast cancer sometime in their life. Even if you recognize there is a risk of breast cancer, whether because of family history or because you found a lump during a self-exam, it is still jarring to face the reality of a diagnosis.

 

We have six women here at STOCK Development who have faced the diagnosis, fought back, and found hope through their breast cancer journeys. These strong women proudly share their stories in the hopes that anyone reading this will take action, whether that is making a commitment to perform monthly self-exams, scheduling their mammograms, or encouraging the women in their lives to do the same. And as members of STOCK Development’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Team, they also hope you will consider joining the team to help raise funds for research, support for breast cancer patients, and assistance providing access to screenings.

 

For Julie Marquardt, Luxury Homes Vice President of Home Building Operations, screenings have been an important, albeit anxiety-producing, part of her health care regimen. “My mom had breast cancer in her 40s, and she had a very difficult road until her passing,” Julie says. “I had a lot of anxiety leading up to my screenings, but it was always a relief when I would receive a letter of positive news in my patient portal.”

 

The news changed for Julie in July 2021. “Despite no lump or physical symptoms, a mammogram showed microcalcifications on the films that needed further imaging it looked like a branch of white specs on the screen,” she says. “After a biopsy, I received a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, which is a Stage 0, early breast cancer.”

 

Julie sought treatment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The recommended treatment path was a lumpectomy with about three weeks of daily radiation followed by daily hormone suppression pills. “I never, for a moment, considered that path, despite concise education from my doctor and the effectiveness of that option; I was confident in my decision to proceed with a double mastectomy, thereby eliminating the need for radiation treatment and medication,” Julie says. She underwent surgery on Oct. 25 a double mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy and reconstruction.

 

Her experience has made her an even bigger advocate for screening. “There are many different types of breast cancer, but early detection is the best chance to get the best possible outcome, physically and mentally,” Julie says. “It is a scary journey, but my faith, confidence in my medical team, advocacy, and support from my fiancé, friends, family, co-workers, even fellow boot campers at the gym got me through the entire process.”

 

Julie is proud to be walking in and raising money for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “I want to encourage the local community to join the walk to remind mothers, wives, daughters, aunts, and friends to stay current with screenings,” she says. “I hope too that we can meet or even exceed our fundraising goal so we can help support and advocate for others touched by the disease.”

Julie’s diagnosis served as a reminder for Omaida Garcia, Luxury Homes Purchasing Systems Manager, to schedule her mammogram, which she missed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Omaida doesn’t have an extensive family history of breast cancer, and she didn’t have any physical symptoms, but when she went for her mammogram, the films showed microcalcifications. Biopsies and a pathology report resulted in a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ, DCIS, stage 0.

 

Omaida proceeded with a lumpectomy, but when pathology came back, her diagnosis changed to HER2+ invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 1. Her treatment path changed, too, and included three months of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.

 

“I can’t help but wonder if I had gone for my mammogram in 2020 if my diagnosis would have remained DCIS, eliminating the need for chemotherapy and radiation treatment,” she says. “The recommended treatment path could potentially be much less extensive and less aggressive if cancer is found at the earliest possible stage, so that is why I cannot stress enough the importance of getting recommended cancer screenings on time.”

 

A cancer diagnosis changes your perspective. Omaida has always kept a weekend routine caring for her family and home, but after everything she’s been through, she now wants to get out more to enjoy and experience life. “I want to spend more time exploring with my husband, our adult sons, and their significant others,” she says. “I also have to say that I had so much support from my co-workers, and I learned that it is OK to accept help from others, so I want to look for opportunities to help and advocate for others, too.”

 

Susan Krautsack, Custom Homes Selections Coordinator, is another prime example of the importance of screening.

 

While working and living a busy life in downtown Chicago and feeling great Susan went for her annual mammogram. She was surprised that the mammogram showed microcalcifications. A biopsy and diagnosis of DCIS, stage 0, followed.

 

Susan proceeded with a lumpectomy. But when the margins weren’t clean and the lumpectomy needed to be repeated, she chose a different path and opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

 

Because of her experience, Susan is passionate about screening and stresses the importance of going every year at the same time and ensuring a radiologist reviews the films. “Early detection can make a bump in the road potentially easier to navigate,” she says. “Gentleman, if someone you love in your life has not been screened, encourage her to make an appointment.”

 

The fight against breast cancer is not only a physical one but a mental one, too. Marta Fischer, Sales Administrative Assistant, says her breast cancer journey brought anxiety. “The presence of anxiety can negatively affect your health,” she says. “Anxiety increases negative thoughts, which, in turn, release a cascade of stress hormones into the body that will lower our immunity. I read somewhere that learning to control stress and worry is a conscious decision.”

 

Marta decides to practice relaxation as a response to calm her mind and relax her body. “I also concentrate on my healing with positive emotions from friends and family, such as love, joy, and happiness,” she says. “Never worry alone. Involve your loved ones.”

 

Michele Mohn, Sales Administrative Assistant, is the youngest of four daughters. She and her sisters lost their mother to breast cancer, so Michele has always been diligent about annual mammograms and self-exams. She felt a lump high up on her right breast during a self-exam.

 

“After a needle biopsy, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47,” she says. “My surgeon showed me that cancer had shown up on the last five annual mammograms, but the mass was so high up on my breast it was at the edge of the film and had been missed by the radiologists reading them. I firmly believe in the importance of annual mammography for the early detection of breast cancer. My situation was just unusual. But, I want to stress the importance of self-examination, as well.”

 

At the time of her diagnosis, genetic testing was only recommended if there was a strong family history of breast cancer, and one relative did not warrant testing. Michele, with her team of doctors, chose to have a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.

 

“Fast forward several years, and two of my three sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer,” Michele says. “My sisters and I had genetic testing and found that three out of the four of us have the BRCA2 gene. With this information and advice from my team of doctors, I decided to proactively have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.”

 

During the reconstruction phase after her bilateral mastectomy, Michele felt a lump on the left side of her chest. Her surgeon removed the lump during her implant surgery. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer once again,” Michele says. “The good news was that this was not metastasized cancer, it was considered a primary or new breast cancer occurrence. Although very rare after a bilateral mastectomy, sometimes things just happen.”

 

Michele underwent more surgery, another round of chemotherapy, and radiation again. She recalls asking her oncologist during her second cancer diagnosis if he felt he would be able to manage it. Michele will never forget his response. He said, “Oh yes, I can manage it. But I’m not here to manage it. I’m going to cure it.”

 

Now, at the age of 66, Michele is 19 years out from her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and 12 years out from her second. “My oncologist was right he cured me,” she says. “I’ve seen so many medical advances in early detection, genetic testing, and the treatment of breast cancer over these many years. Big advances and big strides equal huge hope for all survivors and anyone newly diagnosed with breast cancer going forward.”

 

She has been through so much, but Michele says cancer has given her some gifts along the way. “I was never alone on this path,” she says. “Others walked with me. The incredible support and care by my husband, children, sisters, and friends still amaze me. It humbled me in a good way, making me mindful of what is important in life and what I can let go of.”

 

Judy Seale, Executive Assistant , fought breast cancer in 1990. At the time, she was back to work shortly after her surgery and worked through her chemotherapy treatments. Her care team was very positive and gave her the confidence that everything would be OK. Through it all, and to this day, Judy focuses on her faith and humor, the important things in life, and appreciates everything even more.

 

STOCK Development is proud to have such strong women on our team. They are inspiring. They are advocates for other women. They are SURVIVORS!

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How You're Helping
Save Lives From Breast Cancer

Thanks to the support of so many, the American Cancer Society is there for everyone in every community touched by breast cancer. Including those who are currently dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, those who may face diagnosis in the future, and those who may avoid a diagnosis altogether thanks to education and risk reduction.

currently invested in
breast cancer research grants

$ 69 million

patients received
personal assistance
understanding their diagnosis

24 thousand

one-to-one support
services provided to
breast cancer patients

6+ thousand

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Any donation amount helps save lives from breast cancer.

Welcome to our Team Page. We've formed a team because this cause is important to us. We want to help. And walking and raising money in our local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is the best way we can do that. We all have different reasons for participating but we share a determination to help save lives from breast cancer.

There are so many ways that the money our team raises helps. It’s helping fund innovative research. It's providing free information for people dealing with the disease. It’s providing rides to treatment and places to stay for people who have to seek treatment far from home. In short, our money is helping save lives. Consider donating to our team and helping advance the cause.

How We Support the American Cancer Society

Of course we walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. And we solicit donations from family, friends, and other supporters. But we also schedule fundraisers in lead-up to the big event. Bake-sales, car washes, and countless other types of events. And we promote those on social media, through Facebook and Twitter, by word of mouth, and through flyers at work and around the neighborhood. The success of fundraising events depends on two things - hard work and getting the word out. And we're out to do both. Keep an eye out for our fundraising events.

Join us. Donate today. Or walk with us.

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