Second in Command Battling Breast Cancer and Winning

Cancer Can't Stand in the Way for one City Leader

I think every woman's breast cancer journey is very, very different.

Kaliope Parthemos' knows that...first hand.
The Baltimore City Deputy Mayor was diagnosed this time last year. Her first thought wasn't about dying.....but timing.

I had just become Deputy Mayor. There was all these things going on. I was very, very busy. It could not have been the worst time.

As the deputy mayor Kaliope is often the person behind the scenes making this happen. When she was diagnosed....she was surrounded by her mother a two time breast cancer survivor.....her big fat Greek family as she calls them....and her staff.

My sisters came to the first doctor appointment me. With the diagnosis and what I should moving forward and asked all of their questions and got it all out and I told them from this day forward I will have to tackle it like its a task. It's a job I have to wrap my hands around.

Taking matters into her own hands she attended her treatments alone and continued to work. She had three surgeries and radiation.

I wasn't gonna stay home. I made sure I came back to work. I made sure that I was always on the blackberry. I was always on top of everything. I made sure the breast cancer wasn't going to impact who i was or what I did.

While she didn't show it....everyday wasn't a rosy shade of pink.

There are days when you just want to crawl up and just shut out the world, and there are days when you are mad, why me, what the heck and there's days when you are sad.

Kaliope and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake have been friends for years....the mayor's mom survived breast cancer....so she could relate to Kaliope's struggle.

I would sit in meeting and the mayor knows me well enough when she would pull me into her office and say are you here because you want to be here or are you here because you feel like you have to be here, because you don't have to be here.

Taking control again.....Kaliope began advocating for young women to get their mammograms.

With October as breast cancer awareness month....her staff and family organized her team...keeping up with Kaliope.

I think it's a fantastic opportunity for women to show support for their sister, aunts, and cousins and friend that are battling the disease.

While she's eager to lace up Sunday along with thousands in hunt valley...she's hoping one day we really will cross the finish line.

I'm just waiting to get to the point that we don't have to battle disease anymore, that we have a cure.
 

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