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Stephanie Gorman Winning Essay

Ford Motor Company “Go the Extra Mile” Contest

I'd been running "forever," but only began supporting the Portland affiliate in 1992 when a colleague brought the foundation to my attention. It became personal after my adopted sister Pat, 39, and friends Susan, 40, and Leah, 48, went though horrific battles with breast cancer. They were so strong and brave, and they won. In 1998 my life had begun to blossom. I was in great shape and full of energy. Never did I imagine a lesion on my breast was anything but minor. No one expected the 4cm breast cancer tumor behind it. I'm only 36, too young for this, when my battle begins. Three days later, with fresh scars, half my chest gone, I walk a 5K race. Halfway, my friends, who have finished, want to carry me to the end. I'd never DNF’d a race before and wasn't going to start now. We cross the finish line together. Breast cancer has reoccurred two more times. With the help of friends and family, I've survived. There's strength in numbers. I think about the people who weren't as lucky. I run for them because I can. It means life. My job moved me far from everyone. Training by myself I've won the 2003 Jackson, Memphis, Little Rock, and Thibodaux races, and 2004 Ozark race. I want to go longer distances, but admittedly need help. I'd be honored to be chosen to run and represent Ford in our mutual cause.
 / Issue 40 - September 4017
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