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Woodbury resident Anne Maki will walk in Susan G. Komen 3-Day

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The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. 

Woodbury resident Anne Maki went through all five in July of 2013 when she heard from her doctor that she has stage two breast cancer. 

“I was just devastated because I never thought something like this would happen to me,” she said. “I had so many questions: What happened to me? Where is this coming from? Is this karma? Did I do something wrong? Did I eat the wrong foods?” 

Maki ultimately beat her cancer and she is cancer-free. 

Maki is hoping to bring awareness to the fact that breast cancer can happen to anyone through her participation with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, which is a 60-mile walk that will be taking place Aug. 21-23. 

“It can happen to anyone,” she said. “That awareness really is what I want to bring through this event.” 

The breast cancer journey 

Once Maki, who works for Wells Fargo, accepted her diagnosis, she began on a journey that has left a lasting memory. 

“Once I finally accepted the fact, it was the start of this very long and arduous journey,” she said. “It’s experience, really, that I don’t think anyone can forget.” 

The first thing that Maki did was to better acquaint herself with the disease and what the next year of her life would look like. 

“I was inundated with a lot of information,” she said. “I felt like I went to breast cancer boot camp.” 

Maki underwent treatment at the Mayo Clinic, where she received six rounds of chemotherapy and two surgeries. 

Going through chemotherapy proved to be challenging for Maki because of the side effects, food tasting like metal, pain and fatigue. 

Just beginning chemotherapy proved to be a challenge also. 

“Initially, of course, there were some doubts because of the horror stories I’ve read about chemo,” Maki said. “In the beginning I thought I’d rather die than go through chemo.”

Maki was able to make it through, though, with the love and support of her family. 

Additionally, staying positive helped. 

“Having that positive attitude that you will get through it helped me see that I’m almost at the finish line,” she said. 

Maki received a clean bill of health in October 2014.

Maki said she came out of her cancer battle with a renewed passion to live life. 

“What this has taught me is that life is so fragile,” she said, “so you should be doing what you want to do. 

“Coming out of this I feel like I’m a much stronger person, much more positive and actually adventurous – you need to be able to take a risk.” 

Support for each other 

Throughout her cancer battle Maki said she was very open about sharing her story because she wants to help others who are facing a similar diagnosis, which is part of the reason she decided to participate in this weekend’s 3-Day. 

“You have a ton of other people that have gone through what you have gone through,” she said. “It’s so touching because it shows that you’re not alone.” 

Maki will be walking the 60 miles as a solo participant, as opposed to a team, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be dressed up, most likely in pink. 

“I want to do something unique for myself,” she said. 

As of last week, Maki had raised $2,540 for breast cancer awareness and research. 

In preparation of the walk, Maki said she has been walking most everywhere. 

In fact, Maki actually went out and bought a Fitbit to help with her training.

“There are so many opportunities for me to be able to walk and train my muscles,” she said. 

Even though Maki was struck with grief at her initial diagnosis, now, she said, the entire journey has proven to be a good thing. 

“It’s bittersweet,” she said. “You wish that it didn’t happen to you, but at the same time I felt very grateful for all the experience that I’ve had through my battle. 

“I’ve learned a lot about myself, learned a lot about other people and I learned a lot about breast cancer.” 

If you are interested in donating to Anne Maki’s Susan G. Kome 3-Day fundraising visit the3day.org/goto/annemaki.

 

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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