October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and an Affton chiropractor is doing what she can to battle the disease.
This month marks her mother's 10 year anniversary of surviving stage three breast cancer, so Spath is working the the entire month of October to raise funds to fight the disease.
"I never thought that was something you would just get," Spath tells Patch. However, that is what happened to her mother who was diagnosed on Halloween 2002.
Spath said she and her sister accompanied their mother to the doctor when she was diagnosed.
"Her doctor was pretty optimistic that with a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, that she would be OK," Spath said. "I just thought, 'This is going to be hard. This is going to be really hard.'"
Spath said the oncologist was happy that Spath and her sister were there with their mother during the process and that they were learning about breast cancer prevention.
Fortunately for Spath's mother, the cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes, but the necessary treatment was tough on her body, as it is for many patients.
"It just really wreaked havoc on her body. All of her hair fell out, her toenails fell off. She was sick and throwing up every month," Spath said.
However, as Spath looks back to ten years ago, she is focused on how fortunate her family is today, thanks to breast cancer treatment and care.
"I have a 10-month-old daughter now, and having her made me realize how grateful that I am that my mom is still with us and healthy," Spath tells Patch. "She takes care of my daughter when I'm working, and it's just great to see them be able to enjoy each other."
In an effort to help others who have the disease or will experience it in the future, Spath is organizing the Spine and Joint Center's Survivor Walk. It takes place at 11 a.m., Sunday Oct. 28 at Clydesdale Park on Green Park Road.
The registration fee for the walk is $20. Spath's goal is to raise enough money to make a $2,000 donation to the Saint Louis Breast Cancer Coalition.
"We thought that was a sizable donation that we thought that we could manage," Spath said.
The idea arose after her mother initially planned to have a party to celebrate her 10 years in remission, but then later decided against the idea.
"It honors our mom, celebrates her, but it also helps bring more awareness to why we need to be taking care of ourselves and prevent these kinds of diseases," Spath "Hopefully, we can make this an annual event."
You can register for the walk at an open house Spath is holding at the Spine and Joint Center of Affton from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 3. You can also register by calling her office at 314 353-4500.
Virtual walkers are also welcome. Spath said those are people who can't participate in the walk for whatever reason but would still like to donate to the walk.