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Komen Maine and Hollywood Casino honor Ruth Susee as Survivor of the Week

September 18, 2013
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Survivor of the Week Survivor of the Week

BANGOR The Susan G. Komen Maine Race for the Cure - Bangor and Survivor Sponsor Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway are proud to honor Survivor of the Week Ruth Susee of Kenduskeag. Susee is celebrating her 15th year being cancer free.

Susee was diagnosed in 1998 with breast cancer after a routine mammogram. "I was absolutely floored when I got a call from the doctor saying they found something and I needed to go see a surgeon," said Susee.

Susee says she got the diagnosis three weeks before her granddaughter was born, adding to the shock of the situation. But she talked with her surgeon about her options, and after a couple of months and three types of biopsies she made the decision to have a mastectomy rather than just radiation and a lumpectomy.

Breast cancer runs in Susee's family. Her aunt died at a young age from breast cancer, and her grandmother also had breast cancer later in life. While Susee was "floored" by the diagnosis, she wasn't surprised. "I have four sisters in my family, so I figured at some point one of us would get the disease. But I was still in shock. I thought that I just have to deal with this and do the best I can."

Susee had the support of co-workers, family and support groups to help her pull through the tough times. She says that other survivors should seek support while fighting breast cancer. And by providing support, she says that breast cancer survivors tend to inspire each other. "My mother was diagnosed about 10 years after I was and she came down and walked the Race for the Cure," said Susee. "She could be quite an inspiration. She handled it probably a whole lot better than I did when she was diagnosed. She figured it wasn't a big deal, just something else she had to take care of. It was inspirational."

Susee has been cancer-free now for 15 years and she says that she hasn't felt better than she does now in her entire life. She continues to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and says that there is something special about seeing the "sea of pink."

"It is probably the most emotional that I get during the whole Race," said Susee. "And the Survivor Ceremony on Sunday morning is just amazing. When I started doing the race we had one little platform with all of the survivors, and now it's just unbelievable the number of survivors that participate. It's just an awesome thing."

Susee says that research is key to providing differences in treatments and higher survival rates. "The research is working. We just need more of it," said Susee.

The Bangor Race is in its 17th year. To find out how to get involved with The Komen Maine Race for the Cure visit or call (207) 922-3303.

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