INDIANAPOLIS – The Super Cure is one of Indianapolis’ unique efforts related to the Super Bowl. The game is 115 days away.
The woman who inspired the Super Cure project has come a long way.
In July, Traci Runge celebrated the ritual bell ringing, signifying that she had conquered breast cancer after 15 months of treatment.
But in reality that treatment and routine gave Traci and patients like her a schedule and a purpose. When it stops, there is a loss.
“To finish and ring it’s a glorious moment, but then it’s like, now what? Where do I go from here?” she said. “What do I watch out for? How do I know if my cancer is still gone? How do I know if it’s come back?”
Traci wanted help, and found support in the new St. Vincent Cancer Transitions Program. Sponsored first by a Livestrong grant, Traci meet with patients just like her once a week for six weeks, sharing medical, emotional, physical and lifestyle concerns.
“When someone goes through cancer you can’t expect them to be the exact same person that they were before,” said Missy Andres, Traci’s nurse navigator at St. Vincent.
For Traci, her change was amplified because she was also transitioning from a private to public person after the Carmel mother of three became the inspiration for the NFL Super Cure project.
Traci was recognized for being the first person first in the world to donate healthy and then cancerous breast tissue to research. The combination is believed to be a gold mine for those looking for a cure at the Komen Tissue Bank at the Simon Cancer Center and around the globe.
The nod led to lobbying for Super Cure with Dr. Oz at the Indiana State Fair, being honored at halftime at a Fever game and just last Sunday honored at the Colts game.
This month alone, Traci is featured in Indy Child, and Carmel and Indianapolis Woman magazine.
“I’m not used to being in the spotlight and having a voice,” said Traci. “I’ve always been a little wallflower.”
But not anymore. Traci is bolder and fearless.
“Now I don’t fear anything. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m not afraid of trying new things,” she said.
Yet when her youngest calls her a celebrity, Traci insists her most important role will never change.
“In the end I’m still Mommy and that is what I’ll always be. And actually that is all I’ve ever wanted to be. I always wanted to be a mom,” she said.
The Livestrong grant has expired, and now the St. Vincent Foundation is going to pick up the costs of the Cancer Transitions Program. Money raised at the Key to the Cure Gala at Saks this Saturday night will keep the program running.
Saks Fifth Avenue
6:30PM Saturday, Oct 15th
How you can be a part of Indy’s Super Cure:
Contribute financially to the Komen Tissue Bank
Donate breast tissue at the Komen Tissue Bank
Text “CURE” to 27722 to donate $10 to the Komen Tissue Bank
Purchase a seat or table to the Nov. 19 fundraising dinner (call 317.631.2947)
Volunteer at the Komen Tissue Bank