Carson City breast cancer survivors planning fundraiser walk to remember

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealBreast cancer survivors and coworkers Kellie Bowman and Mary Thompson pose Wednesday. The two will participate in Sunday's Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure in Reno.

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealBreast cancer survivors and coworkers Kellie Bowman and Mary Thompson pose Wednesday. The two will participate in Sunday's Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure in Reno.

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Mary Thompson remembers being on the cusp of turning 40 and "glum about getting older."

Then she was blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis, and it forever changed her perspective.

"Now I'm just turning 62," she said, "and I'm going, 'Yay!' I like getting older because it means I'm still alive."

She is celebrating nearly two decades of being cancer-free by participating in Sunday's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Reno.

"The main thing is to get out there and show everyone it can be done," she said. "I like to talk to new survivors and tell them: 'You can do this. You can get through this."

She will be joined by fellow breast cancer survivor Kellie Bowman, a co-worker of Thompson's at the Public Utilities Commission.

Bowman was diagnosed in 1996 while a single mother of a third-grade daughter. She said she remembers working hard to maintain a sense of normalcy in the home and care for her daughter, Cassie, as if nothing were wrong.

However, she saw her daughter's point of view in an essay Cassie wrote in high school, which would go on to win her a $10,000 scholarship.

"I remember that on the days I had my chemo treatment, I'd get up and walk her out to the bus stop, which was right next door, and I'd meet her when she came home from school," Bowman said. "Cass remembered it as I was completely out of it and she had to cook herself a lot of macaroni and cheese during my treatment weeks."

Bowman said she will spend the time during her 5-kilometer walk reflecting on her struggles during her battle with cancer and being grateful for all of the positive outcomes.

"Everything happens for a reason," she said.

Thompson said she still holds her breath every year she goes in for her mammogram, but it's also a reminder to cherish life.

She said she'd always dreamed of writing a book and published "The Beading of My Heart," about loom beadwork, 10 years ago.

"You just have to live every day," she said. "If you get a chance to do something, do it."

Bowman said she also fears the cancer returning, but tries to keep her anxiety at bay.

"If it came back, I know I'd beat it again," she said.

Race for the Cure

To register for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Reno on Sunday, go to Boomtown Casino Hotel in Reno, off Exit 4 on Interstate 80 West.

Registration is from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. today and Friday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m. Sunday.

For more information or to donate, go to

Cancer Firkin Sucks

The third annual Cancer Firkin Sucks 5K will raise money for the Pink Totties team to participate in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a 60-mile walk to raise money for breast cancer research.

The race will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 8, starting at the Firkin & Fox, 310 S. Carson St. Packet pickup will be 4-7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Firkin & Fox.

For more information or to register, go to

Bowling for Boobs

Carson Lanes is hosting Bowling for Boobs all day Oct. 8. For each team of four bowlers, $100 will be donated to BreastCancer.Org. For each individual, $10 will be donated to the nonprofit organization.

Donations are also being accepted at, or at Carson Lanes, 4600 Snyder Ave.

For more information, contact Danielle Burger at (775) 283-4383 x103 or

Go Pink for Life

Sierra Surgery Hospital is hosting a fundraiser 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 6 for the Breast Cancer Fund at the Cancer Resource Center.

Admission is $10 and includes a barbecue dinner, dessert, bounce house and entertainment by the Mountain Girls. Kids under 12 are $8.

Raffle prizes include $500 cash, an Atlantis Spa package, gift certificates and more.

For more information, call 883-1700.


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