Holly Raissipour, Survivor since 2010
My name is Holly Raissipour and I am a seven year breast cancer survivor. Being diagnosed at 39 all the way across the country in Seattle, away from all but my immediate family, made me realize just how precious life can be. Not just life, but living life to the fullest. I am an adrenaline junkie and seek new adventures all the time so I am thrilled to be part of Runway this year. I have jumped out of an airplane with two of my daughters and plan to with my third daughter this summer.
I am an avid supporter of non-profit breast cancer research organizations and continue to walk the 3-day in Seattle every year (for 3 years I walked both Boston and Seattle and for one of those years I walked all 120 miles with a broken foot in a boot). I continue to raise money every year and will continue until the cures have been found.
Having 3 daughters of my own, I know the sense of urgency to find the cures for breast cancer. I was one of the lucky ones and was diagnosed at a very early stage: DCIS. I opted for a lumpectomy followed by 35 radiation sessions which left me with 3rd degree burns. But I continue to celebrate life every day as much as possible. As I walked the journey from diagnosis to treatment, I didn’t expect the emotional journey I would also go on – being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend – the amount of outpouring of support was beyond imagineable. People that were acquaintances came out of the woodwork to help me and I am feeling truly blessed.
Having a very large family history of colon cancer, I began getting colonoscopies and mammograms at 35 which I truly believe saved my life. It was from a mammogram that the cancer was discovered. After several additional mammograms, biopsies and MRIs, it was determined that there was cancer – but how could I tell my small children without scaring them even though I was petrified myself. I had to put on a strong front for them; for my husband; for me.
I am a strong believer in that everything happens for a reason and although I may not understand why, I do appreciate the closeness it brought to me and my family and I am very thankful for the life I now live. I have learned first hand how important it is to take care of myself so I will be here for a long time to come.