In anticipation of this year’s theme for the 2018 Georgia 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, “Superheroes,” we are celebrating the heroes, big and small, who make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and survivors, their family members, and friends. Today’s story of 2-Day Heroes celebrates nurses, techs, and blood donors.

Nobody particularly enjoys being stuck with a needle, and for some people, needles are the stuff of nightmares. But when you’re being treated for breast cancer, needles become one of many new norms in your life. It’s The Journey Board Member, 2-Day Walker, and breast cancer survivor Barbara Rogers explains it this way- “There’s nothing easy about going through treatment, but a great nurse can make all the difference. After repeatedly getting hooked up to IV’s or having blood drawn, you learn quickly which nurses have the best technique, and start scheduling yourself to be in treatment when they are working! Even with a port, getting hooked up for chemo can range from simply uncomfortable to downright painful. I had a couple truly fabulous nurses, and I’m so grateful for their skill, gentleness, and care!”

It’s The Journey staff member and breast cancer survivor Linda Shein says that her radiation tech, Franklyn, was a shining star throughout her treatment process. “Franklyn was constantly there for me throughout treatment, helping on and off the table, making sure I was comfortable and as at ease as someone can possibly be when going through radiation. On my last day of treatment, my kids made this poster for me, and Franklyn and I got a picture together to celebrate! You can see from the picture just how genuinely kind and supportive he is, and when you have to go through something as miserable as radiation, having wonderful and caring people around you is a big deal.”

2-Day Crew Member and AV guru Dan Landreth does his part to help people going through treatment by regularly donating platelets-  tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding- at the Red Cross. Individuals going through chemotherapy and other treatments sometimes need a transfusion after a cycle in order to receive the next dose of medicine. According to the American Red Cross, “Platelets have a very short life span – only 5 days! It’s critical for us to collect platelets continuously to ensure they’re available for patients when they need them.”

Dan is able to produce more platelets than average (they were able to receive enough platelets for 3 people from his last donation!), but they love all donors! Dan donates approximately every two to three weeks and has donated over 250 times!! He hopes to keep it up as long as he is able.

You can be a 2-Day hero, too! The Red Cross is always in need of blood, plasma, and platelet donors. To learn more, contact your local Red Cross location!

If you have a story about a 2-Day hero you would like to share, please contact Whitney at wpack@2daywalk.org!