By: Jennifer Hoffman
If you look up the word “fighter” in the dictionary, you should see the name Michelle Barr next to it. For the last 10 years she has been courageously battling breast cancer. HEADstrong’s Running aHEAD of Cancer 5k at Hill Creek Farms will be a way for the community to rally around and support their local fighter, as Michelle will be the sole benefactor of the event.
In April of 2009 her whole world changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. As anyone would be, Michelle was shocked at the diagnosis but as she says, “I put my gloves on and was ready to fight”. She wasn’t going to go down without a fight, and that’s where her journey began.
Michelle underwent multiple surgeries, tests, biopsies, chemo, radiation and a double mastectomy with 25 positive lymph nodes involved. She never gave up and she owes it to her two sons, they were here inspiration to keep pushing on, “Crazy how I just pushed along sick and all. I did not want my two boys to see how sick I was” said Michelle.
All of the surgeries and chemotherapy paid off when Michelle went into remission. Her life returned to some type of normalcy but that all came crashing down in March of 2017. Her biggest fear became her reality.
The cancer came back.
This time, it spread throughout her brain and bones. The next day she was treated with full brain radiation. This time around, she knew exactly what to do. Lace up her gloves and fight. “Chemotherapy regimen is one bag one week and then the next week 3 bags and then off the next week. And the cycle continues to this day!” said Michelle.
Michelle is not alone in her fight. She says she would be lost without her amazing support system. “Three words describe my family, friends, neighbors and community! Lost without them!!!! Would not be able to do all this without all of them!!! Amazing support overwhelming at times.” stated Michelle.
The Hill Creek 5k will be her first official HEADstrong event and she is most excited about seeing everyone supporting the foundation’s mission and to get the word out about what we do.
Despite being up against one of life’s biggest challenges, Michelle has never lost hope and has stayed positive during some pretty dark times. “This is what is keeping me alive. So I tend to be as positive as I can. I truly believe that is 90% of the process! I need to have a positive attitude for not only me but my family and friends. If I am positive usually everyone else is just as positive. Don’t get me wrong I definitely have really bad days or weeks but I remain positive through them!! I just taking life one day at a time!!! My gloves are on and up!!!” stated Michelle.
It isn’t too late to sign up for a team or to make a donation to help families like Michelle’s. Interested in learning how you can help? Please visit www.headstrong.org/run and click on the Hill Creek 5k.