Carolyn was told she only had 3 years to live. Yet she found herself paddling down the Delaware River 14 years after her breast cancer diagnosis.
Carolyn Choate was in the middle of finishing her Master’s Degree in Literature when she was told of her condition. Just like many other survivors, she has to put her dreams on hold so that she can focus on getting better. What’s remarkable about her story is that she has decided to finish strong – no matter what the outcome.
During her battle with cancer, Carolyn took inspiration from the heroes of epics such as Beowulf and Homer’s the Odyssey. She imagined herself to be the hero of the story while cancer is the enemy. During those hard days, Carolyn took inspiration from the courage, sacrifice and faith of these fabled heroes.
Today, Carolyn Choate is in long term remission. She now dedicates her time in helping others in the same predicament by raising funds and awareness against breast cancer. Her most recent endeavor is a 300-mile paddle down the Delaware River in honor of the woman who was responsible for giving her a second chance at life – Dr. Angela Brodie.
Carolyn’s cancer was diagnosed in the late stages and was found to be particularly aggressive. After undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, the then 45-year-old Choate still had cancer. This was when Dr. Brodie’s breakthrough drug was introduced to her. Carolyn didn’t have that many options left, so she and her doctors decided to try their luck with the new and untested aromatase inhibitor drug.
Carolyn and her family were so overwhelmed with her positive response to the drug that she wanted the meet the woman who developed it.
The pair met in 2014 at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where Brodie did most of her research work. The two remained friends until Dr. Brodie’s demise June 2017.
With this new journey down the Delaware River, Carolyn is hoping to raise a $500,000 endowment in Dr. Brodie’s name. She is joined by her daughter Sydney Turnbull while being closely followed by her husband Gordon.
Truly, Carolyn’s story is one for the books. She is a living example that epics are not just for the books – real life heroes are among us today. We wish this strong-willed, courageous and generous woman the best of luck on her journey.
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