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'Race for the Cure' has new meaning for longtime participant

October 04, 2017 07:03 PM

Hundreds of runners will hit the streets in Albany on Saturday for the Komen Race for the Cure. They are raising awareness about breast cancer and funds to support those battling the disease.

We usually think of women over age 40 being at risk for breast cancer. However, about seven percent of the cases are diagnosed in younger women and their cancer tends to be more aggressive.

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So when 26-year-old Samantha Scaplen got the dreaded diagnosis she knew she had to take action, not just for herself, but for all young women.

"So in the matter of three days, my whole world changed," recalled Samantha Scalpen.

She’s talking about January 9, 2017.

"My now husband and I were watching TV. I reached around my side for an itch. My hand grazed something, so my natural instinct, is it on the other side," explained Scalpen.

It wasn't. Wasting no time, she saw her doctor on day 2 and it was a whirlwind of a day.

"That same day, I had an ultrasound, a biopsy and two mammographies. Then the very next day, I received a phone call telling me I had cancer," noted Scalpen.

As is often the case with young women, the cancer was aggressive.  

Scalpen underwent a double mastectomy and 12 weeks of chemotherapy. However, it didn't sideline her from preparing to wed her college sweetheart, Austin, in June. A beautiful bride, she already had another mission in mind -- telling her story. Knowing she's uniquely positioned to talk with young women, she’s reached out to Komen Upstate NY to do just that.

Her message is simple. Know your body, so if something doesn't feel right, take action. It can be a lifesaver.

"Check yourself and just go to the doctor. It doesn't hurt to go to the doctor. You could get hurt if you don't go to the doctor," she warned.

A longtime runner, Scalpen has often taken part in the Komen Race for the Cure. This year, she says she'll be walking the course with friends -- happy to just be there to share her story. She hopes it helps others beat the cancer that strikes one in eight women during their lifetime.

"It's definitely going to be a special day, for sure. Taking on a totally new meaning this year," she acknowledged.

You can join in the fight against breast cancer and support the Komen Foundation by signing up for the Upstate Komen Race for the Cure.

The 5k race is October 7 at 9:30 a.m. in Albany.


More information:
Komen Northeastern NY Race for the Cure

Credits

Benita Zahn

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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