NEW HOPE, Minn. (FOX 9) - This weekend, thousands will walk and run in the 27th annual Race for the Cure where they will raise money to treat and beat breast cancer.
It’s a testament to how far research has come that there are so many survivors walking this year. Sunday, each one of them will receive a Mother’s Day bouquet.
Jo Fachman’s mission is a mission that takes over her driveway and garage in New Hope every May.
“It has grown into a monster,” said Fachman.
It’s a beautiful monster that grew from her own death sentence 22 years ago when she was given just months to live, but also the tiniest chance in a painful clinical trial.
“When I signed up for the trial, they said your best chance for long-term survival is to complete this trial,” she recalled. “I weighed 82 pounds after six months of chemotherapy.”
Of the 500 people in that trial, she is one of three who survived.
Now, for the 18th year, with the help of 80 friends and family including the mayor of New Hope, Bachman takes $80,000 worth of donated flowers and makes them into 3,500 bouquets to be distributed to each breast cancer survivor at Sunday’s Race for the Cure.
“This has been a long trail we’ve been on together,” said Nancy Manning, a 2-time breast cancer survivor.
She’s known Fachman for 20 years and can attest to the huge strides made in that time.
“The life expectancy has grown enormously,” Manning said. “It isn’t an automatic death sentence anymore.”
That mission to raise research funds to find a cure has driven Fachman since 1997.
“The survivor guilt was, ‘Why am I alive and most of the other people that went through this didn’t make it.’ I’m going to find a cure for cancer. Little old me,” Fachman laughed.