Cancer Can Kiss My Skates

Cancer Can Kiss My Skates

From Katie Regan Stavos

We are fundraising for METAvivor & Trails to Treatment. These amazing organizations are fighting cancer in two equally important ways: research and patient support. Please help us fund their very important work.

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Welcome to Debbie Wappula & Katie Stavos's "Cancer Can Kiss My Skates" Team Fundraising page!

About Us

We are Debbie Wappula and Katie Stavos. Two friends who are skating to fight cancer. Katie has been actively inline skating for several years and completed her first inline marathon in 2012. She has since skated 5 inline marathons. Debbie is a hockey coach. She is most at home in skates on the ice and more recently, on the pavement as well. She completed her first inline marathon in 2017.

Our Story

March 15, 2018-  92 days from today, we will skate our second marathon together as team "Kiss My Skates".

In that time, 10,396 mothers, daughters, sisters, best friends, grandmothers, aunts, granddaughters, and cousins will die of stage 4 breast cancer, also known as Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) in the USA. MBC is breast cancer that has spread to other of the body. It is a terminal diagnosis. If you know someone who has died of breast cancer, they died of Metastatic breast cancer.

We need to change this number and the best way to do it is fund reasearch for better understading and utimately effective treatment for this disease. 

For us, this is personal. In 2014, Debbie was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She endured 20 weeks of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, five weeks of daily radiation treatments in Rochester and an eleven hour reconstruction surgery. She continues to take daily medication and receives a monthly injection as part of her continued cancer treatment.  

Debbie was declared NEAD (No Evidence of Active Disease) April 22, 2016. One thing doctors do not discuss is the fear of recurrence. Approximately 30% of people that are diagnosed with breast cancer will eventually be diagnosed with stage 4 disease. Fear of this recurrence- of hearing that the thing she fought so hard against is back and this time is terminal- was all consuming. Every cough, every pain, every bruise came with a suffocating fear that cancer was back.

On June 3, 2017; while at her very first Christian women's retreat, Debbie was prayed over and later described the experience as "feeling the chains of cancer and fear litterally leave my body. I was awakened to a new life. A life beyond breast cancer." 

This new life beyond breast cancer has lead to inline skating as a way to physically reclaim strength and health and the things cancer stole. 

On September 16, 2017, we skated the North Shore Inline Marathon and finished together with a shared time of 2:52:30. We raised over $700 for breast cancer research and skated a total of 1,123 miles for the year in 2017. (We even made the front page of the sports section in the Duluth News Tribune! You can read about that here.) 

Our goal for 2018 is much bigger.

Three marathons. 41,245 Miles. $41,245 donated. 

The numbers here are significant. Three marathons for the one of three whose initial diagnosis will become a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. 41,245 is the number of people who will die of this disease this year- a dollar and a mile to honor every life that will be lost. 

Our first marathon is the Apostle Island Marathon in La Pointe, WI on June 16th. The second is the Rollin' On The River Inline Marathon in Grand Forks, ND on August 25th and the third is the North Shore Inline Marathon on September 15th. 

While three marathons in one season is more than doable for us, our miles goal and fundraising goal is impossible on our own. We can not do this without you. We need people willing to skate miles and fundraise with us. 

Maybe, together, we can save two little boys from having to say goodbye to their single mom. A daughter from losing the one person she can count on to tell her like it is. A friend from the reality she has prayed against since day one. A mother from losing her favorite daughter. A sister. A aunt. A cousin. A grandma.

Together, we can also be the voice for those we can’t save. The ones who are too sick to shout. Those too busy trying a new drug, and another new one, and another experimental treatment. Together, we can fund the research that makes effective treatments a possibility. 

Please join us in supporting those who are fighting for every breath, every step, every hockey practice, every bowling league, every football throw, every inline skate. 

We CAN make a difference.

Ready to help? Here's how:

1. Donate

In 2017, we had shirts made with "Cancer Can Kiss My Skates" on the back. We will once again have these shirts and as part of our fundraising efforts, we would like to add names of cancer warriors of any cancer type to our shirts. With any donation, we will add the name of your choice to our shirts. These warriors will train with us, they will race with us, they will be in our prayers and on our hearts as we skate. 

You also have the option to get your own Cancer Can Kiss My Skates t-shirt or hoodie with a donation at or above the amount listed. Just select the perk you like when you make your donation.

Don't want to donate online? Have questions about how to get a donation receipt for tax purposes? No problem- contact us at cancercankissmyskates@gmail.com.

2. Join Our Team

Skate with and fundraise with us! Skating together is the only way we can reach our miles goal. Create your own page and join our team. Any one of any skating ability is welcome! You can log your miles with an app like Runkeeper and ask your friends and family to pledge their financial support as you skate. Share your miles with us as you complete them and we will keep a running total on our campaign page. 

Want to skate the marathons with us? Here are links for each race:

https://www.apostleislandsinline.com

https://gfinline.com

http://northshoreinline.com

Thank you for taking the time to read our story and support our efforts. Together we can change what it means to be diagnosed with MBC.  

All funds raised will be split evenly between these two fantastic organizations. 

METAvivor: METAvivor is dedicated to the specific fight of women and men living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. At the time of METAvivor’s founding, no organization was dedicated to funding research for the disease and no patient groups were speaking out about the dearth of stage 4 cancer research.  While more and more people have taken up the cry for more stage 4 research, METAvivor remains the sole US organization dedicated to awarding annual stage 4 breast cancer research. http://www.metavivor.org/

Trails to Treatments: Our mission is to assist those in need of funding during their treatment of cancer. We believe most people are not fully prepared for the out of pocket expenses cancer treatment requires. Our volunteers are dedicated to the long term success of this grant program through ongoing donations and fund raising efforts. http://www.northcountryhorsemen.com/

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