Freese in the fight of her life
Ask people about Ainsworth resident Angela Freese and they’ll tell you one thing—she’s a fighter. Freese is in the fight of her life against cancer.
“I am in my fourth round of metastatic endometrial cancer,” Freese said. “It first started back in 2008.“
Since finding out she has cancer Freese has gone through radiation treatment, and has had her lower right lung removed. Back in January of this year she found out that her cancer had spread into her lymph nodes.
“My cancer is incurable,” she said. “I’m on anti-estrogen pills because my cancer feeds on estrogen.”
She hasn’t let the cancer affect her daily life. Each morning she still goes to work. When she is having a bad day she reminds herself of her motto.
“I tell myself to ‘never ever give up,’ she said. “This is my motto for this time around.”
Since her fight began Freese has become an advocate for cancer research and participates in cancer events like the Washington County Relay for Life. She is on the committee for this year’s event.
Senior Community Relations officer for the Washington County American Cancer Society, Kierstan Peck has enjoyed working with Freese.
“Last year she was our survivor speaker,” Peck said. “She is on the committee this year. It’s volunteers like her that motivates and drives me to do my job.”
Peck enjoys Freese’s passion.
“She has pumped and motivated our Relay for Life committee,” Peck said. “I’m beyond excited to have her on the committee. I knew she would bring a lot of excitement to it.”
This year the focus of the relay will be to make every single moment important. Freese brought the idea of recognizing caregivers to the committee.
“Angela is a cancer caregiver herself,” Peck said. “She has taken care of friends who have had cancer and this year we will be recognizing caregivers. They are the silent partners in all of this.”
Freese credits her work in Relay for Life and cancer awareness to helping her through the dark times in her fight.
“After I found out I had cancer I went through depression,” she said. “By getting involved this has helped me out of that stage. It also gave me sound boards to discuss my cancer with.”
Freese has lobbied at the state Capitol and promoted awareness through her participation.
“We need to keep fighting,” she said. “Write your senator and stay strong.”
Freese decided that lobbying and writing senators wasn’t enough. This summer she will participate in the Million Dollar Marathon. This race will have survivors, advocates, and caregivers involved. It will be going from coast to coast.
Once Freese heard about this event she knew she wanted to participate. She has been training every day for it.
“I’m not a runner but I wanted to make a statement,” Freese said. “I’ve been doing running/walking intervals and I am up to 12 miles now.”
Freese knows she’s at a disadvantage because of the missing part of her right lung. That hasn’t stopped her.
“I feel myself getting stronger,” she said. “On the day of the marathon I’ll probably be walking and running.”
The marathon is estimated to be in the Iowa City area, which is the leg she’ll be doing, around July 10.
To help with the fundraising part of the marathon Freese is organizing a 5K on April 13 in Washington’s square.
“For the marathon each runner is asked to raise$7,500,” she said. “I got this idea from the other runners in the Million Dollar March.”
The deadline to sign up is by March 28 in order to receive a T-shirt.
Through everything she is doing there is one thing that Freese keeps reminding herself of.
“It has to be continually fought,” she said. “You have to make something good of something not good.”