According to the Mizuno USA website, Minnesota Oncology patient Kris West is “2,002 Days Strong”. Kris has been living with Stage 4 breast cancer since 2013, but a positive attitude and a desire to advocate for breast cancer research has fueled her fight and helped her thrive.
And this past summer, she was selected as one of several breast cancer survivors as well as professional female athletes across the country to represent Mizuno USA for Project Zero. The goal of Project Zero is zero more lives lost to breast cancer. “Project Zero aims to completely eliminate breast cancer, so that no one else will have to face this struggle. Partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Fleet Feet Sports, Mizuno is committed to beating breast cancer, one drive, one pitch, one sprint at a time.” As part of the awareness and fundraising campaighgn, limited edition running shoes and T-shirts are being sold with a portion of the proceeds ($10 from each pair of shoes and $5 from each shirt) goes directly to Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Shop the available products here.
Kris was chosen to represent Project Zero after an extensive search process. Her compelling story, positive spirit, and active lifestyle earned her a spot in the campaign. She was flown to Atlanta, Georgia, over the summer to film various videos and participate in photo shoots and interviews. “It was a great experience,” Kris said. “I was really excited and honored to be a part of this.”
Kris was one of six breast cancer survivors who were selected to share their stories, but she was the only one with metastatic breast cancer. Because of this, she said she has been particularly pleased that the funds raised in this campaign go directly to research. “As a person living with stage four cancer, I’m really excited about that part of it.”
As Kris approaches the 5-year-mark of her cancer diagnosis, she remains grateful for the care she receives from Dr. Stuart Bloom and her teams at Minnesota Oncology and MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, where she is participating in clinical trials. A positive approach is something she and Dr. Bloom have in common, she says, and that drew her to Minnesota Oncology after she received her diagnosis of Stage 4 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma with metastasis to all her bones in February of 2013.
“The first doctor who treated me before Minnesota Oncology gave me a sheet of paper that said most women with this diagnosis live seven years,” said West, a mother of three and former director of marketing and technology for Stone Bridge Capital Advisors in Saint Paul. “And then I was told I had probably already had it for five years.”
Kris decided to seek treatment at Minnesota Oncology where she was introduced to Dr. Stuart Bloom at our Minneapolis Clinic. “I needed someone with a positive attitude,” she says. “You have to find the right person for you.” Kris said she is also appreciative of the excellent communication and collaboration between Dr. Bloom and her physician at MD Anderson.
Always an active person, Kris’ love of golf was featured in her story for Mizuno. Throughout her years of treatment, she said she has been committed to staying active and involved. She has participated in Hope in Motion to celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day. She is an active volunteer for Angel Foundation and a guide for Firefly Sisterhood, an organization that matches up newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with those who have been through treatment. She only recently stopped working full time due to pain and fatigue. When she was diagnosed, she had a goal to see her twin sons graduate from high school. This past spring, she watched them receive their diplomas.
As she embraces life day by day, Kris welcomes opportunities to tell her story. “By sharing my story and learning from my experience, I’ve been able to help other people.”
Project Zero Website: http://www.mizunousa.com/projectzero
Campaign Trailer: https://vimeo.com/233997687
What Makes my Body Strong: https://vimeo.com/233998395
Kris West Video: https://vimeo.com/233998077
Kris West Webpage: https://www.mizunousa.com/topic/projectzero-kris.do