Sammie & Dan S.

"I know I can beat this disease."

Sammie and Dan have been paddling in Philadelphia’s International Dragon Boat Festival to benefit Linda Creed Breast Cancer Organization to help raise funds for its mission. In 2019, Dragon Boat crew members paddled in honor of Sammie & Dan. They got married July 2019 and came back from their destination wedding to deal with her Stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis. Despite this, Sammie felt lucky! She has health insurance and while breast cancer treatment is challenging, she didn’t need to worry about access to care. Sammie talked about her experiences:

“When I reflect on this summer, I am still amazed at how the best thing to happen in my life, my wedding, and the worst thing to happen, my cancer diagnosis, were so close to one another. I think about the two hours it took to do my hair on the day of my wedding and the five minutes it took for my husband to shave my head after my 2nd round of chemotherapy. I think about going through the grueling process of IVF because cancer may take away my chance to have my own biological children, instead of my husband and I going on our honeymoon and doing newlywed things.

“I think about how quickly my husband and I were thrown into the cancer world and forced to really grow as a couple instead of figuring it out over the course of our many years together. But I also think about how truly lucky I am to have amazingly helpful and supportive friends and family who continue to rally around Dan and me in our time of need.

“Most importantly, I know I can beat this disease because my tenacious husband won’t allow any other outcome. I know I’m not alone and it makes this journey a little less scary.”

With Sammie’s support, Dan and his twin brother, along with the rest of “The Friends of Linda Creed Dragon Boat team,” paddled with great success on October 5th this year for those who aren’t so fortunate, with Sammie cheering them on.

Afterwards, Dan shared his thoughts with the lead volunteer: “Just wanted to reach out and tell you how much Saturday meant to Sam and me. Sam has gone to some great cancer survivor support groups and met some really amazing women already, but that was the first time we’ve been out and surrounded by that much love, hope and camaraderie all in one place since her diagnosis. It really has been the best day we’ve had since all hell broke lose and it couldn’t have come at a better time and getting that gold medal made it all that much sweeter. Something felt like we were just supposed to get that win—it’s hard to explain! Already looking forward to next year and would love to help with the foundation however I can in between.”