Traci Hildreth of Marietta, Georgia, is a long-time fundraiser for the fight against breast cancer. But the fight is personal for her now: She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery. Her team of friends, Team Traci, has rallied around her and is preparing to walk in the American Cancer Society’s inaugural Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Cobb County on Saturday, October 27.
Traci, a travel enthusiast who owns Infinity Travel in Marietta and is also a flight attendant with AirTran Airlines, was diagnosed with breast cancer on August 24. After numerous tests and meetings with doctors, she underwent a double mastectomy just nine days before her daughter, Kristi’s, wedding on October 20. She is now beginning a regimen of aggressive chemotherapy.
“I was determined to be at that wedding no matter what, even if I had to decorate a wheelchair and wear my pj’s” says Traci, whose blog says a lot about her personality and outlook on life – “The Adventures of Traci.”
“Traci is amazing with her strength and determination to let nothing stop her or slow her down,” says CJ Jimerson, the Society’s Manager for Making Strides Income Development for the Cobb event. “Her team just keeps growing and is doing a great job with fundraising and calling attention to breast cancer and the impact it has on women’s lives.”
More than 1,000 people will participate in the Marietta Making Strides, which will start and finish in the historic Marietta Square. Registration begins at 7 a.m., an inspirational opening ceremony gets under way at 7:30 a.m., and runners in the event will start at 8:15 a.m., followed by walkers at 8:20 a.m.
Traci, along with Kathy Lowery, is the founder of the Pink Suitcase Sisters, a group whose purpose is to minimize fear that women often have about traveling alone and empower them to “get out there” – whether it’s outing to a museum or play or a week of travel in another country.
“Our team is women of all walks of life that have one thing in common…..a desire to enjoy life and see the world,” she says.
That spirit of empowerment and courage is helping Traci cope with a diagnosis of breast cancer, surgery and aggressive chemotherapy – “the most aggressive out there,” she says.
While Traci won’t be walking in the Making Strides event in Marietta, she will be out there cheering her on her team from her specially decorated chair in front of restaurant Simpatico.
“Before this year we have been raising awareness and funds for breast cancer with different activities like pink drinks, a big garage sale and through the Pink Ribbon Classic golf tournament,” Traci says. “But with my diagnosis, everyone stepped up the pace and really put participating in Making Strides front and center. Everyone has been so supportive and has surrounded me with caring. It means so much.” To keep up with her blog, go to www.adventuresoftraci.blogspot.com.
For more information on the Cobb Making Strides event, go makingstrideswalk.org.