Spotlight: Diane Wells and Carbone's Race for Research

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UW Carbone Cancer Center

Diane Wells and friends during the 2011 Carbone Cancer Center's Walk Away From Cancer

Last summer, Diane Wells was just two months into her treatment for follicular lymphoma when she decided to attend the UW Carbone Cancer Center's Walk Away From Cancer, now a walk and timed 5k race known as Carbone's Race for Research.


With her cancer in remission, this year Diane joined the Race For Research planning committee, soliciting sponsorships and working on the details of this year's event.


Diane reflects on her experience with cancer, her desire to raise money to fight the disease, and her plans for this year's event.


What motivated you to volunteer as well as participate in this year's Carbone's Race For Research?


Since my friends and I enjoyed it so much the first time, I thought "why not help plan it, too?" Since then, I've reached out to sponsors, and recruited more friends and relatives to walk with me on August 4.


Last year, the atmosphere was so uplifting, with surprises around each corner, including t-shirts, facepainting, a bouncy house and snacks. My favorite part was turning a corner and seeing a live band!


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This year, I want to help keep the momentum going. Spending time with UW Carbone Cancer Center doctors, nurses, scientists and other survivors - all for the purpose of raising money for cancer research is rewarding, and I want as many people as possible to feel the community atmosphere that the day brings.


How has your life changed personally in the last year?


I appreciate the small things so much more. My husband and I went for a walk the other day, and I remember thinking the sunset looked so beautiful. I'm not sure I would have noticed it in the same way a year ago. I also focus much more on taking life one day at a time. I don't worry about as much, and try to instill that attitude in my kids as well.


Will you be walking with anyone in mind on August 4?

I'm walking for the loved-ones I've lost, including my mom Shirley Peterson, my brother and sister-in-law Mike and Valerie Wells, and my friend Bonnie Frisch.


I'm also walking for our friend and our son's Godfather, Bill Garvey who lost his battle to cancer this May. Bill and I started this journey together last June, as our diagnoses were within a day of each other. While we shared the ups and downs along the way, I always thought we would have a party one day to celebrate good health. Things didn't work out that way, so instead we'll have a big party on August 4 for Carbone's Race For Research to celebrate his life and all the lives that have been lost to cancer, and to raise money to find a cure.