Heather Niemeier's Page
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page for Gilda’s Club. I am raising funds to ensure that those affected by cancer can continue to have access to incredible support and wellness activities from the dedicated team at Gilda’s Club in Madison.
For me, raising funds for Gilda’s Club is personal. My experience with cancer began nearly six years ago when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was thirty years old and my oldest child, Braylen, was nearly a year old. Being diagnosed with cancer, of course, turns your life upside down. There are an incredible number of decisions that need to be made, side effects that need to be dealt with, and logistics that need to be managed. I was so fortunate to have been surrounded by my family and close friends during my surgery, treatment, and recovery. I am running in tribute to those who were so instrumental in supporting me through that experience.
I am also running to give back to Gilda’s Club. I only discovered this wonderful local resource last spring. I saw an email for the Midwest Young Adult Cancer Conference and was amazed to see it that it was being held in Madison. I checked out the topics being presented, and realized that nearly all of them applied to me, five years later. Parenting with cancer, anti-cancer nutrition, dealing with the anxiety of survivorship…I just had to go!
Attendance at the conference was transformative for me. Hearing other people talk about their experiences, about what it is like to be going back in for a scan, how symptoms that may otherwise have been ignored, suddenly cause concern about recurrence, about talking to their children about cancer. For the first time since my diagnosis, I found other people who not only understood, but who identified firsthand with all of the issues I had been grappling with for years.
Since joining Gilda’s Club, I have found an incredible community of support that I know will be there for me and my family into the future. My husband Jason and I were blessed with twins, Carter and Hadley, just a few years after my diagnosis. I am very grateful to know that Gilda’s Club is there to support all of us.
Please join me in supporting Gilda’s Club and know that you are walking, running, or donating in honor of an organization that truly makes a difference in the lives of those touched by cancer.