Welcome to Conversations with Cancer Survivors, a Q&A series aimed at teaching people how to detect cancer early and ways to navigate the doctor-patient experience from those who have been through the process. Maura Power is a breast cancer survivor who has become a frequent 15-40 Connection volunteer and ran the 2018 Boston Marathon representing Team 15-40. She talked recently with 15-40 Connection’s Carl Setterlund.

CARL: Hi, Maura. It’s great to chat with you again. You’ve been so helpful providing your insight on early cancer detection topics the past couple years, so I wasn’t surprised you were happy to take part in our new Q&A project! Let’s start off by having you share a little bit about yourself.

MAURA: I teach in the biology department at Quinsigamond Community College. I also teach exercise classes at the YMCA in Southbridge, Mass. I have two sons in college and have a very sweet dog named Lucy. My husband and I both enjoy being very involved with our community.

CARL: You wanted to focus on life before your diagnosis, which is a critical time, because it’s when your actions can make a big difference on whether you detect cancer early vs. later. What did you understand about self-advocacy beforehand?

MAURA: I was not a great advocate for myself before my diagnosis. I did track my health and wellness through maintenance appointments with the dentist, eye doctor and yearly physicals, and I was partially there in the terms of comparing changes from year to year. However, even though I would share any changes in my health from visit to visit, I never even worried about cancer, since I was only in my 30s. Looking back at my attitude, I think I felt that cancer, and other conditions and diseases were for those in the retired and older category. I was very wrong and was blindsided the day I was diagnosed.

CARL: Right. Most cancers are more prevalent in older demographics, but can happen at any age, so it’s good to at least be generally aware of that when thinking about your health. Did you understand the importance of early detection before your diagnosis?

MAURA: I did not know anything about or really understand early diagnosis. I didn’t even have a family member of any age with cancer, or at least not one close to me. I think I already followed the 2-Week Rule as just a way of life on my own. I was busy and didn’t have time to be sick, so I would visit the doctor if my symptoms worsened, but putting all of the pieces together was a skill I surely lacked. Now, being on the other side and teaching others the 3 Steps Detect program, I see how simple it is to understand and how important it is to share as a life skill, because the earlier you can detect cancer or other illnesses, the better.

CARL: Very true. Nobody can completely predict if or when they’ll ever have cancer, so our education is a great skill for people to have in their health and wellness tool belt. For a lighter topic, you wanted to share about your favorite hobby and favorite vacation, but you told me those two kind of blend together into one big answer.

MAURA: Yes. Three years ago, I found myself on a business trip to Ireland. You know that John Denver song (“Rocky Mountain High”) about “Coming home to a place I’ve never been before”? Well, that’s Clonakilty, Ireland for me! I’ve become part of an annual marathon and have returned twice to work and run with one of my sons and my husband. They feel the same way!

This event was the start of another short story in the journal of my life. My passion is running and lifelong fitness, and I believe those go hand-in-hand. This trip just reaffirmed my faith in my passion. Not only did I do my very first marathon on the waterfront of West Cork, I’ve added the Boston Marathon, representing and raising funds for 15-40 Connection. I am also now the race director for our local VFW’s Fourth of July 5-miler (the Leonide J. Lemire Road Race), which is second or third-oldest continually run race in the U.S. after the Boston Marathon!

CARL: Wow! I obviously knew you ran the marathon for us, but I didn’t know the backstory about Ireland. It sounds like a great family tradition!

This Q&A has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Early detection can make a lifesaving difference. Learn more about how to identify and act on cancer symptoms with our 3 Steps Detect education.

What’s in it for you?

Much more!

The Power of You! 100% of the proceeds from this event support 15-40 Connection’s lifesaving education. When it comes to cancer symptoms, knowledge is power. 15-40 Connection is saving lives by educating people on how to recognize cancer symptoms early.

Information about the sponsorship opportunities, golf and gala guest packages and gala tickets are below. You can also donate items for our auctions or larger-than-life goody bags. To donate, please email us at info@15-40.org.

PRESENTING SPONSOR | $50,000

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and print/media material including*:

Event brochure, auction program, gala program, website, lead position on main sponsor sign at both golf courses, golfer “Goody bag”

12 Player spots with choice of golf course

12 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

12 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

24 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

Opportunity to place branded item(s) in the “Goody bags” distributed to all golfers

GALA SPONSOR | $25,000

Logo and/or name recognition on all signage and in all printed/media material including*:

Event brochure, auction program, gala program, website, main sponsor sign at both golf courses

8 Player spots with choice of golf course

8 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

8 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

16 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

Opportunity to place branded item(s) in the “Goody bags” distributed to all golfers

TOURNAMENT SPONSOR | $25,000

Logo and/or name recognition on all signage and in all printed/media material including*:

Event brochure, gala program, website, main sponsor sign at both golf courses

8 Player spots with choice of golf course

8 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

8 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts\

16 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

Opportunity to place branded item(s) in the “Goody bags” distributed to all golfers

TOURNAMENT LUNCH & SNACK SPONSOR | $10,000

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and print/media material including*:

Event brochure, gala program, website, main sponsor sign at both golf courses, thank you acknowledgement at lunch and snack stations

4 Player spots with choice of golf course

4 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

4 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

8 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

Opportunity to place branded item(s) in the “Goody bags” distributed to all golfers

GALA & GOLF ENTERTAINMENT SPONSOR | $6,000

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and print/media material including*:

Event brochure, auction program, gala program, main sponsor sign at both golf courses, thank you acknowledgement
announcement from featured entertainers

2 Player spots with choice of golf course

2 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

2 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

4 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

GOLF CART SPONSOR | $6,000

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and print/media material including*:

Event brochure and gala program

2 Player spots with choice of golf course

2 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

2 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

4 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

GOLF BALL SPONSOR | $4,000

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and printed/media material including*:

Event brochure, gala program, golf ball distributed with “Goody bag” to each golfer

1 Player spot with choice of golf course

1 “Goody bag” jam packed with fun and valuable items

1 Free Prize Drawing Ticket for golfer for a cache of gifts

2 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfer on tournament day

SCOREBOARD SPONSOR | $1,000

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and print/media material including*:

Event brochure, gala program, multiple scoreboard signs strategically placed at both tournament golf courses

2 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

TEE SPONSOR | $750

Logo and/or name recognition on selected signage and print/media material including*:

Event brochure, gala program, on two tees sponsorship signs placed at the 1st tee box at both golf courses

2 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

*Printing and/or embroidering deadlines apply to the above.

PLATINUM SUPPORTER | $16,000

Logo and/or name recognition in event brochure, gala program, main sponsor sign at both golf courses*

8 Player spots with choice of golf course

8 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

8 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

16 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

GOLD SUPPORTER | $8,000

Logo and/or name recognition in event brochure, gala program, main sponsor sign at both golf courses*

4 Player spots with choice of golf course

4 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

4 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

8 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

SILVER SUPPORTER | $4,000

Logo and/or name recognition in event brochure, gala program, main sponsor sign at both golf courses*

2 Player spots with choice of golf course

2 “Goody bags” jam packed with fun and valuable items

2 Free Prize Drawing Tickets for golfers for a cache of gifts

4 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfers on tournament day

BRONZE SUPPORTER | $2,000

Logo and/or name recognition in event brochure, gala program, bronze sponsor sign at both golf courses*

1 Player spot with choice of golf course

1 “Goody bag” jam packed with fun and valuable items

1 Free Prize Drawing Tickets golfers for a cache of gifts

2 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple

Breakfast, lunch, dinner for golfer on tournament day

*Printing and/or embroidering deadlines apply to the above.

GALA & AUCTION TICKETS | $650

2 Gala guests

Parting gift for each Gala couple