BROOMFIELD, Colo. – While a lot of people count steps with their pedometers, Paul Bertreau counts miles. Last year he walked more than 1,900.
Walking is something Paul has done to keep in shape during his cancer recoveries – all three of them.
First diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, Paul had a recurrence of the disease in 2017. He says it wasn’t as brutal the second time. The third time was a different story.
“The prostate cancer came back with more of a vengeance in 2020,” he said, adding, “Third time's a charm.”
It was on a walk in late 2021 that Paul got the idea to turn his miles of walking into fundraiser for the Cancer Support Community.
Paul first connected with CSC’s MyLifeLine program during his first cancer journey. MyLifeLine helps connect cancer patients and their caregivers with friends and family – reducing isolation and anxiety during treatment. Paul says it’s hard for him to imagine going through that experience without it.
“Their motto is community is stronger than cancer and that's so true. I would have hated to, to face this alone,” he says.
Across the nation, CSC provides $50 million in free support and education to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors every year. While that is helpful, their bigger goal is create a community where those touched by cancer can connect with others going through similar experiences.
“It's a way that cancer patients and caregivers can really make sure that their voice is heard,” says Susan Ash-Lee, CSC’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Programs and Education in Colorado.
She says Paul’s fundraising efforts are example of how their programs can help patients and those rallied around them thrive.
“With each step that he takes he is embracing his new life after a cancer diagnosis,” she says.
So far in 2022, Paul has walked 1,400 miles and raised $10,000 for Cancer Support Community and other organizations, but he believes the best thing he’s done is raise awareness about CSC and how much it can help those impacted by cancer,
“You will meet various people who will help you along that journey,” Paul says. “You have to help yourself along that journey. And the support that's needed to be able to help yourself comes from cancer support community,”