Patti Margeson has never been the type of person to sit still for very long.
Diagnosed with breast cancer last December, Margeson subsequently underwent seven weeks of near-daily radiation treatments, a hysterectomy, and surgery to remove a 5-centimeter lump in her breast.
"It kind of felt like I was locked up for awhile, and that drove me crazy," said Margeson, 49. "So when they said walk, I walked."
The longtime Redmond resident, who also happens to be the wife of city council member Hank Margeson, will take on the longest walk of her life this weekend when she joins a team of 20 other survivors and supporters in participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event. So far, Margeson has raised nearly $4,000 in support of her efforts (click here to donate).
The 60-mile walk will take participants from Seattle across the I-90 bridge to Mercer Island, Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland. Participants will spend both Friday and Saturday night camped out at , and support stations with food and other refreshments will be set up every few miles along the route.
Margeson, who has run a childcare center out of her home for 23 years, said she decided to participate in the walk after being inspired by people who have not fought cancer themselves but nonetheless dedicate themselves to helping find a cure.
Joining Margeson in the three-day walk will be Anastasia Logan, a server at who is not a cancer survivor but is walking just to help find a cure. Logan also helped Margeson host a "Beer for Boobs" fundraiser at the Redmond brewery in July.
"To me, that's inspirational—there are people doing it just because they think it's important," she said.
Despite all she has gone through in her fight against cancer, Margeson considers herself lucky. Her breast cancer was caught at stage zero during a routine mammogram.
After her diagnosis, however, Margeson tested positive for BRCA—a genetic mutation that has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. As a precautionary measure, Margeson underwent a hysterectomy, which significantly decrease her chances of getting breast cancer again—or having to fight ovarian cancer.
But the BRCA designation means Margeson will likely never be officially "in remission." After her successful experience fighting breast cancer, Margeson said she is not afraid of what the future holds.
"I know the reality is I might get cancer again," she said.
But Margeson is focused on moving forward and working to get the word out about BRCA screening as well as routine breast cancer examinations.
She said BRCA testing will oftentimes unveil risk for multiple members of the same family, and since her diagnosis, one of her sisters and one of her grown children have tested positive for the gene mutation. Her sister will soon undergo a hysterectomy to help lower her cancer risk.
But the screening has not come early enough for everyone. On Saturday, Margeson lost a childhood friend who was also BRCA positive to ovarian cancer.
Margeson has since dedicated her walk to her friend and is encouraging everyone with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer to consider getting tested for BRCA.
"None of this research does any good if you don't go in (and get screened)," she said.
To read more about Margeson's story or make a donation in support of her walk, click here. Follow this link to read more about BRCA genetic mutations and testing from the National Cancer Institute.