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Survivor of the Week

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Komen Maine and Hollywood Slots honor Denise Hodsdon

BANGOR The Susan G. Komen Maine Race for the Cure-Bangor and Survivor Sponsor Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway are proud to honor Survivor of the Week, Denise Hodsdon of Brewer. Hodsdon is co-chair of the 2011 Bangor Race.

'My journey with Susan G. Komen started in 2003,' said Hodsdon. 'My town manager's daughter-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 20s. It's frustrating when you want to do something to help, but you don't know what to do. My sister had been involved with the Race for Cure and she mentioned to me one day that there was a committee meeting coming up. I went, and immediately decided this is something I want to do to try and help.'

Hodsdon was a registration co-chair from 2003 to 2007, volunteering her time at five consecutive races. In the fall of 2007 Hodsdon resigned from her position at the Race for the Cure, feeling that it was time to move on to something different.

'Somebody had a different plan for me, and in 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer,' said Hodsdon. 'As soon as I found out that I would need a biopsy, the first thing I wanted to do was go see my sister. She picked up the telephone and called Sally Bilancia, who was the race director at the time, and said that we need to come back to the committee. We were welcomed back with open arms.'

In 2009 Hodsdon became co-chair of the Bangor Race with Michele Rowles. Each still fills this position today.

'My breast cancer was found by a mammogram. I had my mammograms annually starting at age 40 as recommended. I had a very, very, small lump,' said Hodsdon. 'The lump was something that I wouldn't have found on my own. If I didn't have my annual mammogram, with a very astute radiologist who noticed a small change from one year to the next my story could have been a lot different.

'I opted to have a mastectomy and reconstruction immediately after that. They did the mastectomy on a Monday morning,' said Hodsdon. 'Two days later I went in and had my first reconstruction surgery. I had four more surgeries after that.

'My first surgery was on Aug. 25, and I had my second surgery two days later. I took three weeks off in total. Being a municipal clerk, I am in charge of running elections and had special election that September. I went right back to work, and in my second week back at it I was working on the election,' said Hodsdon. 'It was good for me; it felt good to be back on a regular routine. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to lose a lot of work.'

After Hodsdon's diagnosis her perspective on life changed significantly. 'It made me think about the things around me that I can't control. But, I can control how I treat myself and my body. So I started eating differently. I began eating foods that didn't have preservatives, focused on fruits and vegetables and exercising. I am probably the healthiest I have ever been.'

Denise Hodsdon celebrated three years cancer free on Aug. 25.

The Bangor Race is celebrating 15 years on Sunday, Sept. 18. To find out how to get involved with The Komen Maine Race for the Cure, visit or call 207-262-7117.

Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway is the Survivor Sponsor for the 2011 Race. As part of its support, Hollywood Slots is hosting a reception the night before the Race for survivors participating in the Race and a guest. Race participants who are survivors can RSVP for the Survivor Reception at

Last modified on Thursday, 10 November 2011 10:04


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