The Susan G. Komen Maine Race for the Cure-Bangor and Survivor Sponsor Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway have announced that Michele Rowles of Brewer, co-chairman of the 2011 Bangor race, has been named the second Survivor of the Week.
“I had some time to give and I wanted to give back,” Rowles said about becoming involved with the Komen race in Bangor for the first time.
“After attending that first race, it hooks you right in. Without the race and the money and awareness that it raises, there would be many women who would not find breast cancer early enough.”
In 2006, Rowles was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It took a little bit of time, I was sort of in a fog for about the first month,” she said of her initial diagnosis.
“I was diagnosed in July and started treatments in the very end of August. I went to my first Komen race that September, pushed into it by a friend. To me I had only had two treatments. I wasn’t a survivor yet. I remember standing on that stage thinking, wow, look at all those people. Whether they are supporting me, a family member, or a friend, at some time breast cancer really touches everyone’s lives. It was a very empowering moment”
Rowles joined the race committee as a volunteer in 2007, rolling T-shirts and helping out with registrations. In 2008, she was asked to be chairman of the Blues for the Cure, a concert that supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For the past three years, Rowles has been co-chairman of the race with Denise Hodsdon.
Rowles had four rounds of chemotherapy and her surgeon performed a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, and continued with four more rounds of Taxol, a chemotherapy drug. After Rowles finished chemotherapy she began a daily regimen of radiation treatment lasting 16 weeks. On Aug. 23 she celebrated five years being cancer-free and now follows up with her oncologist every six months and with her surgeon once a year.
The Bangor race celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. To learn how to get involved with The Komen Maine Race for the Cure, visit komenmaine.org or call 262-7117.