Our 2016 SummeRun honoree has supported the event in almost every way possible—a survivor, a team captain, a fundraiser, and one of the top survivor finishers in last year’s run. We are thankful for Jane Blaisdell’s involvement with the SummeRun and hope that her story inspires you as you walk or run in this year’s event.
In November 2012, Jane started noticing a few abnormal symptoms (discomfort while urinating and abdominal pain) but neither an internist nor a gynecologist could find anything wrong. In her words, Jane kept “continually bothering” her doctor and in January she went in for a colonoscopy. The test came back clean, but the gastroenterologist ordered a CT scan. Jane later learned that this doctor suspected ovarian cancer and said she had classic symptoms. The CT scan showed evidence of cancer, and two weeks later Jane had surgery at Swedish for a complete hysterectomy and removal of the cancer (stage 3).
Jane responded quickly to chemotherapy and was in remission for over a year. By October 2013, it was clear that the cancer had returned. At this point, Jane had quit her teaching job and was back in school—getting prerequisites for a degree in Nutrition. Jane continued to attend class while undergoing chemo and once again, the treatment beat the cancer back very quickly. Jane entered a study headed up by Dr. Saul Rivkin in December 2013 and is still participating in the trial today—taking Olaparib daily with few side effects.
Jane first heard about the Rivkin Center and the SummeRun through her sister-in-law. Jane began fundraising and recruiting members for “Team Jane” and finished chemo just in time to walk in the 2012 SummeRun. She has participated every year since, surrounded by a team of family and friends who come out to support her. “I love raising money so that other women someday won’t have to go through what we cancer survivors have endured,” said Jane.
Today, Jane is a full-time student at Bastyr University, working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition. She lives in Lake Forest Park with her husband and is back to bike commuting—which she was doing when she was first diagnosed.