TRACY FISCHER IS ON TEAM LUNA CHIX BUFFALO RUN.
SHE'S A MOTHER, A WIFE, AND A SURVIVOR!
Tell me about your diagnosis and battle with breast cancer. I was living in Germany for a 10 month stay with my husband, Tom and 4 year old twin girls, Harper and Lily, when I found a lump in my left breast. I was scheduled for a routine Ob/Gyn appt., and I pointed it out to the Dr. He did a clinical breast exam and a sonogram. He wasn't positive on the results, so he sent me for a mammogram. This was on my 37th birthday on December 20th, he didn't seem too alarmed, so I put off the mammogram until January to get past the holidays. The mammogram confirmed that it was cancer. That afternoon I went back to the Ob/Gyn, he set up an appointment with a surgeon, the next day I was in the hospital. It's interesting to compare the standards between the two countries, in Germany I was in the hospital for seven days for a lumpectomy, here in the States, it's a same day procedure. I did three rounds of chemotherapy, and radiation treatments in Germany, then returned home to Buffalo, NY to complete my last three rounds of chemotherapy. My last treatment was on September 11, 2001.
What inspires you? What motivates you? My children inspire and motivate me. They were the first thing on my mind when I was diagnosed. I knew that I had so much to live for, to see them grow. This past August, they started college at Fredonia State College. I am so proud of all that they have done.
What activities do you do to keep healthy? My primary activity currently is running. I never considered myself the running type, but five years ago I signed up for a race to celebrate turning 45. I trained for three months, planning on running one race and being done with it. I ran my first race. I was knocked to the ground within seconds of starting, but got up (mostly in fear of being trampled), and finished the race. I hated it, and was glad it was over. After reading the results and realizing after getting knocked down, and wanting to quit, I actually had a decent finish. It was then (or shortly after) that I realized that running was something that I should do, because I can do it. Last year I also started rowing with the We Can Row program here at the University of Buffalo. It's great to get out on the water with women of all ages.
Why do you fundraise with Luna Chix? I fundraise with Luna Chix, because being diagnosed with breast cancer at 37, with no family history, makes me believe that there is more to cancer than family history. I truly believe that there are so many cancer causing agents in the environment and in products used daily, that I firmly stand behind the mission of the Breast Cancer Fund and Luna Chix.
What keeps you motivated? The women coming to weekly runs with Luna Chix keeps me motivated. We have a woman who has lost a considerable amount of weight, just started running this spring, and has already completed a half marathon, and several 5ks. I find that to be incredible. There are others just starting running, and they are in their sixties, and completing 5ks. I love that! And then there are the young girls in the Girls on the Run program, whom we support, to see them cross the finish line is priceless. Makes me wish I started running earlier in life.
Ahnu has been inspired by many people who’ve overcome adversity, especially Trevor Thomas. He has accomplished feats on the trail and off.
Team FarSight was founded by Trevor Thomas in 2009 to challenge societal misconceptions about the abilities of the blind and visually impaired. Thomas has thru hiked some of the most rugged and remote long trails in the United States to demonstrate what is possible for a blind person to accomplish. A secondary goal for Team FarSight is to provide inspiration hope, and assistance to other blind individuals who want to achieve goals not typically expected from members of the blind community.
In 2013 Team FarSight became Team FarSight, LLC, in order to grow and achieve long term goals. What started as one blind man's attempt to regain his independence has grown to include a support crew, website person, a group of great sponsors, and many volunteers. Their tireless work, logistical expertise, gear, and sponsorship makes it possible for the team to accomplish its goals. When situations require, close hiking partners Dave Baumgardner and Chad Zandy are called upon for assistance.
This season Team FarSight, LLC will be hiking to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind. In addition, Thomas is partnering with The Perkins School for the Blind and Boy Scout Troop #3 (Manchester, MA) to develop the Blind Ambassador Program, a unique hiking program for the blind and visually impaired.
GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND
Thomas and Tennille graduated from Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) in September, 2012. GDB is more than an industry-leading guide dog school--it is a passionate community serving the visually impaired. Using an exceptional network of puppy raisers, trainers, instructors, volunteers, and staff, they breed and prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower the blind and visually impaired. GDB receives no public funding and their services are totally free of cost to recipients. As one can imagine, these exceptional animals and the training they receive is incredibly expensive, and the need is great. For more information about this wonderful organization, please visit their website www.guidedogs.com and give as generously as you are able so that other blind individuals will enjoy the life-changing benefits that Thomas is enjoying with his Guide, Tennille.
Tennille has trekked with Thomas in Greyson Highlands (VA), South Mountain (NC), and has completed several hikes in the Muir National Forest. She summitted Mount Tam (Northern California), Mount Rogers (VA), and completed her first thru hike of the Mountains to Sea Trail (NC), a nearly 1,000 mile trail from Clingman's Dome in western NC to Jockey's Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks, and is presently training for many more adventures in 2014.
AHNU IS PROUD TO SPONSOR THE WARRIOR HIKE'S WALK OFF THE WAR PROGRAM
Historically military units would experience a lengthy journey home after fighting a campaign abroad. During this journey home warriors would process and decompress from their wartime experiences. But in today’s age of modern transportation military personnel can find themselves home within a few days of serving in a combat zone.
Since 2001 over 2.5 million veterans have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but many of them have never transitioned from their experiences. This is evident by the recent report from the Department of Veteran Affairs which states that over 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In 2012 after returning home from three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan Warrior Hike founder Sean Gobin hiked all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Recognizing the therapeutic effects of long distance hiking Sean created the “Walk Off The War” Program which is designed to support veterans transitioning from their military service by thru-hiking America’s National Scenic Trails. Sean’s favorite Ahnu shoes are the Moraga Mesh hiker and the Del Rey sandal.