Health & Wellness

Joan Lunden Delivers Address at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

9216784c0972b5304a30_image.jpg
Joan Lunden Delivers Inspirational Address at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Credits: Natalie Heard-Hackett
9216784c0972b5304a30_image.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ – “Anyone can get cancer,” Joan Lunden said as she shared her breast cancer story with thousands of survivors and supporters during the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sunday.

The event kicked off with more than 4,000 participants gathering to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Startling statistics make the case for the need to raise funds and awareness. According to the organization's website, one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Over a half million dollars was raised by the start of the 2015 event. 

Lunden, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, was the Honorary Survivor Ambassador for the event.

Sign Up for E-News

The beloved television host and author, best known for appearing on "Good Morning America" for nearly two decades, connected with the audience by sharing the story of her life path, including the challenges and triumphs. 

Lunden grew up in California and lost her father, a pilot and cancer surgeon, who died in a plane crash when she was 13. She spoke of how the circumstances of her life and finding out that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, brought her back to reflect upon her journey and to re-evaluate her life’s mission.

"I could have been very negative about this…but I decided to turn this breast cancer diagnosis into a positive and be out in front.”

During the event, Lunden first spoke to survivors and took pictures with them in the survivors tent, a VIP area for survivors and their families.

She greeted the crowd in the survivors’ tent saying, “I officially belong in this tent since I have finished all of my treatment.” In response, the crowd of hundreds, erupted in applause.

Lunden added, “I finished nine months and 16 rounds of Chemo and six weeks of radiation. Last month I crossed my own finish line. Nice try, cancer, but I’m still here!”

After greeting fans and taking pictures, she later led a processional of survivors to join her on the main stage, as they held banners showing how many years cancer-free they have been. Lunden took the main stage before thousands and discussed the challenges that she faced with deciding to use her diagnosis to help others.

“I will tell you, for a few days, I thought that I was not going to tell anyone." She then changed her mind and decided to help others, "I have shared every aspect of my life on television. It would be completely uncharacteristic of me, being Joan Lunden, not to share this part of my journey with you.”

She looked at the life of her dad being a cancer surgeon and then her diagnosis of having breast cancer as a way to turn a negative into a positive. “It had the potential of helping so many other women. And then I remembered that my dad was a cancer surgeon and I have been acutely aware of the fight against cancer since I was a little girl. He was an avid pilot and a specialist in cancer at a time in this country when there were not a lot of specialists and he used to fly all over speaking to the American Cancer Society.”

She said that the prayers and positive energy that came to her from strangers on social media gave her energy and kept her going. "They have inspired me to get out in front of this battle." She now says that it is her turn "to give that back to others who are facing the same breast cancer journey”.

“I knew that this would be my new mission and that I would have an opportunity to carry on my dad’s legacy.”

Lunden spoke of how she had been going for annual mammograms and had been given a clean bill of health. However, as fate would have it, she was part of a medical television interview where 3-D mammograms were discussed and the doctor also educated her on breast density to determine breast health. 

She said, “If it hadn’t been for that interview, I would not have known to ask for a second test. I shudder to think what my diagnosis of triple-negative fast growing cancer would have been had I not done that interview.”

She mentioned that she did not have a family history and did not have any of the risk factors. She continued, "I mustered up the faith to do the People magazine cover wearing a bald head."

Lunden's advice to women is to ask their doctors to test their breast density, in addition to the mammogram. She wanted to make women aware that knowing the breast density could be an indicator to potential health risks.

She cautioned the women that approximately 40 percent of women that have breast cancer may not be detected by the mammogram alone and said one must find out what their breast density is. Things are changing and we are fighting hard for legislation to require the test she added. “Women need to be fully informed and get all of the information about the health of their breasts so that they will be able to make this life and death decision as to when the need an ancillary test,” she added.

Lunden’s recent book, "Had I Known" is about her breast cancer journey. She continued by adding that she had gotten some negative feedback about her telling women to ask about their breast density during their annual mammography visit.

The audience responded with cheers when she said, “I will not apologize for informing and empowering women to better understand their breast health.”

She says that she chronicled her journey at www.Joanlunden.com to take the mystery out of the breast cancer journey.

The program closed with thousands of survivors and family members singing and dancing to “I Will Survive,” as they marched toward the start line to begin the walk.

Lunden and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo cut the ribbon at the start of the walk.

TAPinto.net was a proud sponsor of this event.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Offering July Adoption Promotion for Cats/Kittens

July 10, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, in Bridgewater, is urgently looking for homes for its cats and kittens.

According to a release from the shelter, the population surges throughout the summer during kitten breeding season, and so the shelter is launching a special promotion to help increase cat and kitten adoptions. During the month of July, all cats and kittens that over ...

Do You Recognize These Dogs?

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Two dogs were found in Plainfield near the fire station on Central Avenue on Saturday. 

The dogs are currently with a family in South Plainfield.  If you recognize the dogs, please email TAPinto Plainfield at jpopper@tapinto.net.

A Hidden Gem in the Suburbs – Spring Academy Montessori Pre-School helps children reach their full potential by fostering an innate love of learning!

July 16, 2018

Located on a quiet residential street in Warren, NJ, Spring Academy Montessori Preschool opened its doors to the public in late November 2016.  Spring Academy wanted to fill a niche that was missing in the community -- a pre-school with a Montessori philosophy combined with an emphasis on language immersion.  Since then, parents have been coming from all over to enroll their children in ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, October 3, 7:00 PM

SCLSNJ's Warren Township Library branch, Warren

A History of the Old Presbyterian Graveyard in ...

Government Other

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Get Ready Warren: Fireworks, Food and Family Fun At Mt. Carmel Feast

July 13, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. – It’s time again for the annual Mt. Carmel Feast, a four-day festival full of food, music, games, rides, fireworks, and other family fun, located at Mt. Carmel Field in Berkeley Heights.

The fairgrounds will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 13 through Monday, July 16. Those four nights will include concerts, games, and ...

Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Offering July Adoption Promotion for Cats/Kittens

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, in Bridgewater, is urgently looking for homes for its cats and kittens.

According to a release from the shelter, the population surges throughout the summer during kitten breeding season, and so the shelter is launching a special promotion to help increase cat and kitten adoptions. During the month of July, all cats and kittens that over ...

A Guide to July 4: Fourth of July Fun Facts, a Video and Where to Find Independence Day Celebrations, Fireworks Displays

WARREN, NJ -  Independence Day 2018. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson penned words based on what he learned as a student of the enlightenment.  John Locke’s writings were ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Viewing and Funeral Mass Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash, Fundraiser Established

July 16, 2018

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

Bedminster Woman Dies From Injuries After Being Struck by Car in Mall Parking Lot

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after being struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

Somerset County Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Grace Gurisic, First Woman Freeholder

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County will fly its flags at half-staff July 12 in memory of Grace A. Gurisic, who served as the county’s first woman freeholder more than half a century ago.

Gurisic passed away June 9; she was 84. Funeral services will be held 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 12, from the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home in Wayne. A funeral mass will follow at St.

3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ set to Celebrate Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Exchange Place and WTC PATH Stations to Close For Weekend Track Maintenance

JERSEY CITY, NJ - At least they waited until after the Fourth of July fireworks were over before starting.  

PATH stations at Exchange Place and the World Trade Center (WTC) will close at 11:59 p.m. this Friday, July 6, and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, July 9, to allow crews to transition to a new signal system being installed as part of the ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 10, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...