Sunday, July 25, 2010

Courage -- Courtesy of Tricia Keegan

I've been reluctant to assign shoes of courage to one particular person in this series of tributes, because each of the breast cancer patients or survivors named here marches foward in those shoes every moment of their lives.

But, all you have to do is take one look into her electric blue eyes, and you know Tricia Keegan is special from top to bottom. Tricia, from the east coast of Ireland, wears shoes that exemplify the definition of courage. She is a master at transforming fear into determination and doing what must be done, even when it is difficult.

Tricia was diagnosed at age 46 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), an aggressive form of breast cancer. Yet, she has endured surgery, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and ongoing treatment. That courage and endurance has paid out well, and recently Tricia celebrated her fifth year as a breast cancer survivor!

Tricia's life is full with her supportive husband, two grown daughters and a house full of beloved cats; yet, she never fails to offer support to those who share her cancer experience. The message boards on the Komen website are full of Tricia's knowledgeable and compassionate responses to questions or concerns expressed by members of her breast cancer family. She notes, "I'm a strong advocate for educating people on their diagnosis, and do voluntary counselling at our local cancer wellness centre along with moderating a cancer support site." Then Tricia adds, "While I never would have asked for this disease, it's brought some amazing people into my life...." What Tricia doesn't seem to recognize, though, is how amazing she is.

For Tricia Keegan, who is quick to point out the attributes of others and slow to recognize her own: tomorrow, I'd like to borrow your shoes. I know they will not fit my feet, as they are packed with courage already. But, I will carry them with me as I run, and when fear of difficulty or distance creeps into my mind, I will think of your extraordinary example, and transform those doubts into determination.

For you, Tricia . . . here's to the next mile!


  1. Kudos to you Chris for posting this about Tricia. She goes above and beyond to help others cope with their diagnosis.

  2. Believe me, Caroline, it is my privilege. Tricia is delightful!

  3. She certainly is a wonderful woman. So very caring and helpful to all who need it. One of God's angels on earth.

  4. A lovely and well-deserved tribute!

  5. Oh Chris, I really dont know what to say but of course I'm overwhelmed and humbled to have such a beautiful tribute to me on your blog:)

    I know for every person we help, we silently gain help and strength towards our own healing too which is a constant thing I believe after this disease.

    While I would not have wished this disease on anyone, it's been a pleasure indeed for me to feel I've made even one persons experience a little easier and less frightening.

    Thank you so very much for your very kind words and I'll be thinking of you and all our sister's as you may this walk to honour all of us past present and future.
    My very sincere thanks also to Caroline, Anonymous, and Rena for your compliments...thank you my friends and good health to all. ((((hugs)))xx

  6. You are so right, Tricia. Helping is healing -- both for the giver and for the receiver.

    A world without breast cancer. It's what I wish for all of you!


  7. Your efforts with this walk bring us all ever closer Chris, we all thank you sister:)

  8. Well deserved Tricia and such a nice tribute to a special lady!!! You were the first to respond to my message on the Komen message board (oh so long ago) and was helpful and made me feel so welcome, and I needed that right then. Thanks! Denise

  9. There are no words to describe the impact that Tricia has made on my life and my journey. I have never posted a comment or question, or a request for advice and support, to which she has not responded. I am forever grateful.

  10. ok..the previous comment was from me...I love you, Tricia!!!!!
    Pat Patterson

  11. I really appreciate all of your friendship, love and support back to me ladies, and my thanks to all of you for your very kind words:)

    Thanks also to Pat my her2+ sister who always has a smiley face to make us all cheery!!:) xx


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