Like many advocates, Lindsay Sweet became determined to help end women’s cancer when the word “cancer” hit close to home.

Her beloved aunt, Wendy Ericsson, was diagnosed with endometrial (uterine) cancer in 2012. Wendy lived cancer-free for three years after surgery and chemotherapy, but she is currently undergoing treatment for a second recurrence.

Since Wendy’s diagnosis, the family joined the movement and started raising money at the Foundation for Women’s Cancer’s (FWC) National Race to End Women’s Cancer. Lindsay, a resident of the Washington, DC, area, participated in the race three years ago and started fundraising at work, reaching out to local groups and joining the race host committee in 2015.

“My aunt is very smart and resilient,” she said. “When you are put into certain situations [like cancer] you have to educate yourself and be your own advocate.” Lindsay tries to model her aunt’s strength by advocating for women with gynecologic cancers and fundraising for Wendy’s race team, fittingly called Wendy’s Warriors.

Wendy loves her young niece’s energy and determination. “I couldn’t be there without my champion,” Wendy said. “Her drive and enthusiasm are contagious and inspiring.”

The aunt and niece duo believe that research is instrumental in the mission to end women’s cancer. Wendy is currently enrolled in a clinical trial to help with the advancement of medicine.

“I want to help give other women at least a fighting chance,” she said. “The more women that enroll in these trials, the faster the science can advance and more treatments can be discovered.”

The race is a perfect opportunity for survivors and supporters like Wendy and Lindsay to join together in the movement. In fact, the race and fundraising efforts have brought the two closer, even fostering friendly competition to see who can raise the most money.

“The event helps anchor you because you meet women who are going through the same thing as you are.” Wendy said. “Meeting all the survivors on race day shows you that what happened to you isn’t unusual. You are not alone.”

Wendy truly isn’t alone with family, friends and supporters like Lindsay, her husband George, and her entire warrior team on race day.

“I am walking in honor of all the women I have met who have walked this same path with me,” she said.

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