Cancer survivor walks for cure
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing WriterRegion – Margaret Cedrone grew up in Westborough, leaving in 1998 and ultimately landing in North Grafton. Even though she has moved away, Cedrone said that Westborough will always be her home. Her family, the Ayres, have called the town home for eight generations. Cedrone, 58, is a senior finance manager for Genzyme Corporation.
Because her mother (a 26-year survivor) was diagnosed with breast cancer at ages 60 and 65, Cedrone began having mammograms earlier than most. Unfortunately though, she, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer, at age 53. It was just five month earlier, on her birthday, that her husband, Alex, had a sudden heart attack and passed.
“I couldn’t image how I was going to get through this,” Cedrone said. “My family and friends rallied around me and my ‘posse’ was with me through it all. And although they were my rock and support, my greatest source of strength, willpower and joy (if there can be any during this time), was my grandchildren. I could see life in their eyes and it made me even more determined.”
It was during this time that Cedrone clung to her faith which, she said, was not shaken despite the pain of her loss and diagnosis.
Cedrone underwent cancer treatment at UMass Memorial Hospital. After a treatment of chemotherapy and radiation followed by a regimen of the drug Arimidex (which she will take for another year), Cedrone is currently cancer-free.
In 2008, while she was still in treatment, Cedrone participated in her first UMass Medicine Cancer Walk. She formed a team that she called “Moma’s Train” (the name her grandchildren call her) and included 18 members – family, friends and even some of the UMass staff. She designed T-shirts with this motto: Moma’s Train climbs mountains for a cure.
The 5K walk was grueling and emotional for Cedrone, who was just three weeks post-radiation. She poured water over her bald head and kept walking, determined to make it to the balloon archway at the finish line, which she did.
In 2009 she walked again, but took the next year off to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Last year Cedrone organized a team called the Pink Aces for the first Worcester Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. This year she is back participating in the UMass walk because it isn’t just breast cancer that has touched the lives of her family and friends – Leukemia, melanoma, glioblastoma, colon cancer and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma have reared their ugly heads. Cedrone is determined to make a difference, to help find better treatments and, ultimately, eradicate the disease.
“I walk for those who are not as fortunate, for those who can’t afford proper medical care, for those who are seeking a cure for this disease. I walk for my daughters and granddaughters that they will never have to worry about this disease in their lifetime.”
Funds raised through the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk will “increase the scope and progress of the ground-breaking clinical trials program and bring the latest treatments to patients in their fight against cancer.” The 14th annual cancer walk will take place Sunday, Sept. 23 on the UMass Medical School campus.
Team Moma’s Train has a fundraising goal of $5,000.
“I’m honored to help others get the same chance at survival that I had and I’m looking forward celebrating my own survivorship among a community of people who are just as passionate about this cause as I am.”
For more information on the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk, visit http://www.umassmed.edu/cancerwalk/index.aspx.
To visit Cedrone’s fundraising page visit: Moma’s Train Team Page. All donations are secure and sent directly to The UMass Memorial Foundation Inc. by FirstGiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation.
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