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Woodbury woman designs cancer symbol

Woodbury resident Lois Borgen has designed a symbol to represent all forms of cancer and the slogan "peace, love, hope."1 / 2
Woodbury resident Lois Borgen has designed a symbol to represent all forms of cancer and the slogan "peace, love, hope."2 / 2

Woodbury resident Lori Borgen is all too familiar with the effects breast cancer can have on women - her mother is a 27-year breast cancer survivor.

But recently Borgen started thinking about the numerous other cancers affecting women today - cervical, ovarian and uterine among others.

Borgen has designed a symbol to represent all forms of cancer while depicting the motto of the ,a href=http://>Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure - "Peace, Love, Hope."

"Those words stood out for me," Borgen said. "It represents what a lot of people feel when you're walking the 3-day."

Borgen will be walking in the Twin Cities Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Aug. 24-26.

The event will have thousands of walkers embark on a three-day, 60-mile journey to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. It begins Friday, Aug. 24, at the Lake Harriet Band Shell and will travel 60 miles through the Twin Cities area, concluding Sunday at Indian Mounds Park.

Spreading awareness

It was about two years ago that Borgen began thinking that there needed to be some sort of symbol to represent all cancers and the motto "Peace, Love, Hope."

"I just wanted to create a symbol that represented all three," she said.

Borgen first started with a green peace sign to represent "peace." She said she chose green because it was calming and peaceful.

Next, Borgen drew a red heart inside the peace sign to represent "love."

Lastly, she connected the heart to an upside down cancer ribbon to represent "hope."

Borgen said she chose to make the ribbon pink, to represent breast cancer, and yellow to represent all forms of cancer.

"I'm mostly focusing on women's cancers," she said, "but I don't want to just stop right there, there's so much cancer out there."

Borgen said her goal in creating the symbol is to raise awareness about the many forms of cancer.

"I want to bring awareness to people that it's not just breast cancer that affects women," she said. "There's all sorts of cancers that affect women that people just aren't aware of - I want to bring it out in the open that we need funding."

Borgen has since copyrighted her symbol and is in the process of getting it registered.

She said she intends to illustrate her symbol everywhere she can at this year's Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.

Borgen will also be walking in the Tampa Bay Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure this October and she said she intends to do the same with her symbol.

Borgen will also be selling merchandise, with the symbol, at the event to raise money for the organization.

She has replicated her symbol on T-shirts, tank tops, hats, magnets and temporary tattoos.

"As of right now the ball is not rolling," she said. "I'm hoping year after year it gets out there a little more and more because it's something that is near and dear to me."

Somewhere down the road, Borgen said she is hoping to develop a website under the domain name of "Peace, Love and Hope for All" that will be a one-stop website for cancer resources.

"My goal is to create a website that embraces every cancer," she said. "It's difficult to see these people get cancer and there's really nothing that you can do.

"My goal is to try to get women to catch it as soon as they possibly can, so that there is hopefully a better outcome."

Walking for hope

Borgen first started participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure about six years ago when she started a new job at a law office in St. Paul where she made friends with a coworker.

"We became best friends and walking partners," she said, "so, we decided to do the breast cancer 3-day.

"It unfortunately started with, 'OK, let's see if we can do 60 miles, but once you start that first day you're hooked."

Borgen said she enjoys walking in the event because of the many people she meets and the many stories she hears.

"It just makes you want to bring awareness to other people and make sure that there is funding for women who don't have insurance," she said. "I just love the emotions and the amazing people that are walking even though they have breast cancer and they are going through (chemotherapy)."

Even though the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure can sometimes be physically demanding, Borgen said she is excited to get out there again.

"There's a lot of people who suffer from blisters and leg cramps, but it's three days of pain and you're done," she said. "These people who are going through (chemotherapy) have a lifetime of going through this."

Lois Borgen is in the process of raising the required $4,600, $2,300 each, for both the Twin Cities and the Tampa Bay Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. To donate to either of Borgen's teams visit, click on donations and search "Lois Borgen."

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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