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Back to Michelle's Angels - To Create Awareness of Breast Cancer in Women of All Ages

Komen/Austin Newletter by Gayela Bynum
Just to announce that Michelle's Angels membership on Facebook is 1299 right now - I am hoping we can make it to 1300 by tomorrow - please encourage your family, friends, colleagues to join Michelle's Angels-

Honorary Race Chair Michelle Bynum recently learned that her metastatic breast cancer is spreading. Over the next few months, as we prepare for the Race, Michelle and her family are sharing their experiences. This week, Michelle’s mother-in-law, Gayela Bynum talks about how Michelle has inspired her.

Update from Michelle:

I have great news! My tumors have shrunk 15 to 20 percent since I started the new treatment just over six weeks ago! I can’t express what it means to know that we are making progress. Thank you for your love and support. You are all Angels to me! This week, my mother-in-law is sharing her experience along this journey. I hope you enjoy it.


Michelle is my daughter-in-law, my friend, the wonderful mother of my grandson, and the beautiful wife of my son (that I adore). I live in the Washington D.C. area, Alexandria, Virginia specifically, and at times feel very far away. I have watched from afar the struggle Michelle, my son Brad, my grandson Reid, and Michelle’s family has endured these past few years. I ache from hearing about the ongoing ups and downs brought about from chemotherapy, radiation and other forms of treatment. I’ve often struggled with how I can help from so far away.

In 2005, soon after Michelle was diagnosed with cancer, Tiffany, Michelle’s sister, formed “Michelle’s Angels” to participate in the Susan G. Komen Austin Race for the Cure. I wanted to help, so my friends and I decided we would walk in Washington D.C. at the same time of the Race in Austin. Other family and friends organized their own walks in Oklahoma City, San Diego and Hawaii - we were all in different time zones and took pictures to share (imagine the moon shining through in the background in the early dawn in San Diego). We kept in contact by phone throughout the day. For those of us in other cities, it was a very emotional time and gave us a sense of participating and supporting the effort.

Fast forward, each successive year we have supported the Susan G. Komen Austin Race for the Cure by either forming a group here and in other cities, or as in the past two years, flying from DC and other cities around the country to walk in Austin to support Michelle. Our effort expands each year and today we have raised nearly $80,000 for breast cancer services in Austin and much needed breast cancer research.

Michelle is always saying, “Don’t waste my cancer” and she has not stopped fighting from the moment she was diagnosed. Her name is becoming a household word across the nation and in other countries as well. Best of DC author, Matthew Christian Davis, featured Michelle’s story in his newly published book She has also been featured in interviews and participated in a Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” video. She recently threw out the first pitch at Pink in the Park at a Round Rock Express game supporting Komen’s efforts in Austin. And she is proud to call herself the Honorary Chair of the 2009 Susan G. Komen Austin Race for the Cure.

When Michelle was in remission for two years she trained for and completed a triathlon. I was so proud of her spunk in grabbing onto the vision and completing the mission. Anyone who knows Michelle knows “that’s Michelle”. She is an amazing and beautiful young woman who has taken the cards dealt her and thrown them up in the air to see where they land. The landing led her to help other young women regain their self-worth and fight this dreaded disease by volunteering, raising money and speaking out about being pro-active about one’s body.

Michelle is my hero and teaches me about bravery every day. Share her journey by joining her and all her Angels at the 2009 Race for the Cure on Sunday, November 1 at the...

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