IBEW Locals 1439 and 1455 secretary and breast cancer survivor Karen Krshul Long leading the effort
By SHERI GASSAWAY
IBEW Locals 1, 2, 4, 1439 and 1455 are teaming up for this year’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk,” and team leaders are inviting all IBEW members from both sides of the river to join them in the effort.
The walk, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. in Forest Park. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in the lower Muny parking lot located at #1 Theatre Drive in St. Louis.
Participants can meet at the IBEW Local 1 Union Hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave. in St. Louis at 7 a.m. before the walk for coffee and doughnuts and then carpool to the event, or they can meet the group at the park. After the walk, the Local 1 Apprentice Social Club is hosting a barbecue for walkers in the union’s parking lot.
BE YOUR OWN HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE
IBEW Local 1439 first began participating in the walk in 2011. That’s the year when Karen Krshul Long, an IBEW Local 1455 member working as a secretary at IBEW Locals 1439 and Local 1455, was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.
In 2010, Krshul Long noticed a marble-sized lump in her left breast. Afterward, she had two mammograms, both of which reported no signs of breast cancer. Still concerned about the lump and wary about the test results, she contacted her doctor and had a third screening.
“I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer on Jan. 2 and had surgery on Jan. 25,” she said. “Had I relied on those first two mammograms, the results could be different. I knew something wasn’t right. You have to be your own health care advocate. Everyone can have a bad day, even radiologists reading mammograms.”
That year Krshul Long served as the spokesperson for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk. She told her story at the kickoff breakfast, did interviews and organized a team for IBEW Local 1439, which has participated in the walk ever since. Four years ago, Krshul Long helped create “Team IBEW” with Local 1455 and invited all St. Louis-area IBEW local members, families and friends to participate.
Krshul Long’s husband David Long, Local 1439 overhead repairman for Ameren’s St. Francois District, and IBEW Local 1455 Business Manager Ron Kohring are part of the American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign. They have taken the American Cancer Society’s challenge to raise $2,500 each with all proceeds going to Team IBEW.
ONE IN EIGHT WOMEN DIAGNOSED DAILY
“One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day,” Krshul Long said. “If you can’t take part in the walk, you can make a donation so no one faces breast cancer alone. As a survivor, I appreciate your donations to help end breast cancer for future generations. They have made great strides since my diagnosis, let’s not stop now.”
To RSVP to the event or for more information, call Krshul Long at 314-644-6111. You can donate to Team IBEW by visiting MakingStridesWalk.org and typing in Team IBEW in the team search bar.