Walk co-chairwoman fortunate to participate

BY MELINDA TICHELAAR
mtichelaar@kenoshanews.com
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On Saturday, hundreds of people will be walking and running along the lakefront to raise money for cancer research. One of them shouldn’t be there at all.

It was back in September 2011 that Ann Harms was diagnosed with terminal, stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Doctors at The Mayo Clinic said her life was over.

“They told me I had three months to live, there was nothing they could do,” she said. “I needed to go home, get my paperwork in order, prepare my family and live the last three months of my life.”

But she got a second opinion at Froedtert Hospital that changed everything.

“The doctor said, ‘I can give you two years,’ and I thought, ‘Two years is better than three months,’”Harms said.

Today, 18 months later (and after grueling chemotherapy, radiation and surgery), she is cancer-free, although she does suffer from side effects from the treatments.

This year, Harms is the co-chairwoman of the American Cancer Society’s Kenosha 5K Fun Walk/Run on Saturday. Her husband, Greg, will be walking with her.

“My message is: ‘Don’t give up hope,’” she said. “At first when I heard, I wanted to crawl into bed and die. But I found out that 3 percent of pancreatic cancer patients survive and I thought, ‘There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be one of them.’”

If you go

What: 25th anniversary American Cancer Society 5K Fun Walk/Run.When: Saturday. Registration at 8:30 a.m.; walk begins at 10 a.m.Where: Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Ave.Cost: On-site registration is $35.Information: www.cancer.org

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