Kelsey-Seybold treads miles and lifts spirits

Team Kelsey-Seybold turned out for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and breast cancer awareness

Team Kelsey, which included several participants from the Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center care team, stood out in their bright pink shirts at the Susan G. Komen® Race for the Cure® on Oct. 1. The cool weather made it the perfect day to run or walk in support of breast cancer awareness.

The Cancer Center team and Team Kelsey-Seybold turned out bright and early for the race. From front row left: Yolanda Craft, RN, Supervisor RN II of Cancer Services, Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center; Lakeashia Watson, PharmD, Manager Infusion Pharmacy II, Pharmacist in Charge, Berthelsen Main Campus; Angie Montoya, RN II, Infusion Supervisor, Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center; Heather Guerrero, BSN, RN, OCN, Nurse Manager, Cancer Services, Berthelsen Main Campus. From back row left: Cherie Rutkowske, RN/BSN, Oral Chemotherapy Nurse Navigator RN, Berthelsen Main Campus; Anik Vaillancourt, Pharmacy Infusion Administrator, Cancer Services; Tejash Patel, MD, Oncologist, Cancer Services; and Bobby Lester, Senior Director of Cancer Services.

Every year, Kelsey-Seybold sells T-shirts to raise money for Susan G. Komen, which supports breast cancer research, education, and services for breast cancer patients. This year, Kelsey-Seybold raised $25,000 from T-shirt sales and $5,800 through additional fundraising.

“For Team Kelsey’s Komen Race for the Cure, this year has been one of our most successful fundraising years,” said Edward Guerrero, Senior Pharmacy Purchasing Agent. “Donations raised by the individual team members were outstanding, and this was one of our greatest years for our T-shirt sales, too.”

Edward has helped fundraise for Susan G. Komen for over 15 years.

“I’m proud that we as a healthcare company support Komen and our fundraising team’s efforts every year,” Edward said. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting many breast cancer survivors from our Kelsey-Seybold Breast Cancer Support Group. Supporting Komen honors them and all the others who have fought this fight.”

Due to COVID-19, the race was virtual in 2020. In 2021, walkers and runners participated in person or virtually. In a triumphant return to in-person participation, more than 50 Kelsey-Seybold employees walked or ran in this year’s race. Friends and family joined in, with a total 73 team members registered for the race.

“The Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center is proud to take part in Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers we treat at Kelsey-Seybold and impacts many Houstonians,” said Bobby Lester, Senior Director of Cancer Services, who was instrumental in organizing Kelsey’s participation in the race this year. “The contributions and awareness that Susan G. Komen has made in the battle against this disease has directly improved treatment and outlook for individuals impacted by breast cancer.”

Breast cancer survivor Gretchen Wolf met up with Dr. Patel, who was one of the physicians who helped Gretchen during her breast cancer battle 18 years ago.
Yolanda Craft, RN II, Supervisor in Cancer Services and a breast cancer survivor, has been an active participant in planning Kelsey-Seybold’s involvement in the race.

“The Komen Race for the Cure signifies unity for women and men who are still battling breast cancer. Our Cancer Center does an awesome job helping patients as they go through the process,” Yolanda said. “After being a patient myself, I am happy to be on the other side and to be one of the many people helping patients.”

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