Thousands making strides against breast cancer

MILWAUKEE — It’s the four words no woman wants to hear: “You have breast cancer.” One out of every eight women will be affected by breast cancer, but if detected early enough, the survival rate is at an all-time high.

It was a sea of pink along Milwaukee’s lakefront Saturday, May 5th, as thousands walked for more birthdays and less breast cancer.

“In my lifetime I want to see a cure,” Jackie Kacala from the American Cancer Society said. “This year alone nearly 4,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and of those 4,200 nearly 700 of those will pass away.”

“Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” is more than just an event name sponsored by the American Cancer Society. It describes the progress being made to overcome the potentially deadly disease.

“I’m just helping them find a cure so they don’t have to go through what I had to go through,” Liz Wargolet, who was diagnosed with early stage two breast cancer in 1997 said. Wargolet can now call herself a fighter and a survivor. “I had to go through surgeries. I had to go through radiation, and I had to go through chemo and I lost all my hair,” Wargolet said.

Wargolet battled through the physical and emotional toll of treatment, and she said it was the American Cancer Society that gave her new hope.

“Losing your hair and just not feeling pretty and feeling just terrible and the American Cancer Society gave me back a lift, gave me a wig and they just helped me feel good about myself again,” Wargolet said.

“She definitely has a long six months ahead of her but she’ll get through it with her friends and family,” Michele Berman, who alongside her husband, walked in honor of their friend “Patti” who was diagnosed with breast cancer six weeks ago. “She’s upbeat. She’s facing this and keeping her head up high and she’s just going to get through it. She’s got two boys and a husband and she’s going to do it for everyone, for herself,” Berman said.

Kohl’s Department Stores made a  $7 million contribution over the next three years for this event. $5 million of that goes to local programs for women who are battling breast cancer.

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