On October 22, Tracy Cushing, MD, who was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in 2021, took part in the inaugural Monarch Triathlon in Kingman, AZ. She raced 56 miles in this first-of-its-kind triathlon for female cancer survivors. Dr. Cushing donned Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) racing gear and temporary tattoos to raise awareness for invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) as she swam one mile in the Colorado River, biked 48 miles, and ran seven miles along the famous Route 66. At the end of race day, she learned she finished in an incredible third place!
Dr. Cushing is a self-defined mom, doctor, triathlete, and breast cancer fighter. Soon after her ILC diagnosis, she began an Instagram page to document her cancer journey. During this scary and vulnerable time in her life, Dr. Cushing found LBCA and learned more about ILC, the second most common subtype of breast cancer. She found LBCA’s mission was completely aligned with her aims. When LBCA launched as an independent charity last January, she became one of the first members of its Board of Directors.
Dr. Cushing shared her thoughts on taking part in the triathlon:
“This race was the brainchild of another breast cancer survivor, Brandy Ramirez. I wanted to support her vision. I love all-women events, and this was for such a good cause (scholarships for girls who’ve lost their moms to cancer). I couldn’t NOT participate!
“The hardest part of the race was the bike course – tons of climbing and brutal headwinds. It was tough. I’ve never placed overall at a triathlon. I’ve placed in my age group, but this is my first Overall podium.
“Triathlon has given me so much these last two years – motivation, purpose, and goals – when the very foundations of my life and existence were in question. Getting back to training and racing helped me stay moving and active and helped immensely in my recovery. The triathlon was also a way to make a difference – to raise awareness of ILC and funds for the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance.”
Hearing in August about Dr. Cushing’s triathlon plans, LBCA Executive Director Laurie Hutcheson noted, “I was thrilled to hear that Tracy was not only going to do the triathlon but that she was also using it as a way to get the word out about ILC and the need for more research. Tracy is an inspiration to me and to others with ILC.”