Amy – TapImmune Breast Cancer Champion
Amy Mergen is a big-picture, around for the long-haul, never give up girl.
Amy has been with FIS for 23 years, she is the chief of staff to the president and CEO, which involves a lot of project management, a skill she made use of during her cancer treatment.
Four years ago, at the age of 44, Amy was diagnosed with bi-lateral breast cancer, Stage 2 lobular on left and Stage 1 ductal on right, estrogen and progesterone positive and HER2 negative. She had a bi-lateral mastectomy, ancillary node dissection, breast reconstruction, and chemotherapy (Adriamycin/Cytoxan (4) first, followed by 12 weeks of Taxol).
“I tend to be a “glass half full” person,” says Amy, so after I got through the initial shock of the diagnosis, I said OK, what is the plan and how soon can we get started?” I was fortunate to have strong support from family, friends, and colleagues. Amy is married to Paul Waitrovich and has two sons – Jack, 18 and Andy, 14. Amy focused on staying positive. She continued to be as active as she could during treatment – enjoying the outdoors, listening to music, and reading – and eventually exercising, traveling, and back to normal. “I would say it took a good year after my chemo treatment completed in October of 2013 before I really felt like myself. While I occasionally glance at my new body and miss my old one, I know I’m incredibly blessed with the early stage in which I was diagnosed and the amazing care and support that I received during my treatment journey.”
She had transitioned from running to walking before her diagnosis and treatment – but right after she joined the local Galloway group and started Run-Walk-Run method. She thinks it’s awesome and now has logged hundreds of miles and two DONNA half-marathons saying “it’s an amazing celebration of life and survivorship.”
Amy who is now breast cancer free still focuses on breast cancer health and research, she is a huge believer in the work of The DONNA Foundation, and joined the Board just last year.
We at TapImmune, www.tapimmune.com, wish Amy every success in the future as we strive hard to develop new innovative treatments for breast cancer patients like her.