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 Circle of Hope is a member of the Minnesota Better Business Bureau Association since January 7, 2016.
Circle of Hope, Non Profit Organizations General Membership, Duluth, MN

Circle of Hope has its financials on Guide Star:

Breast Cancer Stories Continued:

 I know you do not know me, and please understand that I am not trying to 

push my studies and beliefs on anyone. My goal is to make others aware of 

a genetic mutation that has devastated my family. Please read my daughter 's

story and try to understand where I am coming from as a mother. I will begin

the story from where it first started.


 I would like to introduce myself first. My name is Jennifer Adamowich, I am

a breast cancer and thyroid cancer survivor. I presented my issue complaint 

of pain of my right breast to my doctor in July of 2006, I was treated for MRSA,

twice, a rash, and finally began to feel like this is all in my head. Finally, after a

year and half of going to my primary doctor, gynecologist, and being referred to

specialists, and because a 29-year-old woman does not get breast cancer. 


Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a very rare breast cancer (Stage

1, invasive ductile carcinoma right breast, grade 3, ER/PR negative, HER-2

3+ positive, with extensive DCIS and with Pagets disease of right nipple). 

I was 31 years old, and as far as I knew, no one on my mother’s side had

ever been diagnosed with breast cancer or any other cancer, and I did not

know my biological father at the time. Thatis when I started to look for my

father hoping to find out details of my paternal genetics and initially, I had

 no luck. Subsequently in 2011, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, 

requiring me to undergo a thyroidectomy (surgical excision of the thyroid).

Thereafter, one oncologist, out of four, decided that I should undergo the

 normal BRCA1/BRCA2 genetic test to make sure my children were not at

 risk for breast cancer. But I tested negative for the BRCA gene, and I was

 under the impression my children were safe. That proved to be untrue. 


Unfortunately, there are too few advocates for the common people who 

may have undetected genetic defects. I, as most people, do not have much

information about genetic testing but I was lucky that a genetic counselor

at St. Jude Children Research Hospital became our advocate regarding 

this issue. I, like most believed that we don’t need this information; 

or, it’s in God’s hands; or,  why look for trouble! There is also the belief 

that genetic testing is a curse or that it’s similar to Voodoo. There is also 

a fear in the knowing and not understanding. Also, most do not have the

education or understanding regarding how genetic testing works.


 Even though I had been diagnosed with breast cancer, On July 27, 2015

at 2 a.m. my real nightmare began. I had an ER doctor tell me that my 

beautiful, sweet, selfless, 18-year-old daughter, Kennedy, had cancer. Kenna

had been going to our provider every three months for the past year, 

complaining of her whole right-side severely hurting, and worsening at night. 

On the first visit, he gave her Ibuprofen and anxiety meds for sleep. Three 

months later, on her second visit with the same complaints he refused to do

anything and treated her like she was a hypochondriac, which she was actually

began to believe. Three months later, her third visit, pain is increasing and 

included chest pain. A stress test was performed. She returned to the doctor 

2 months later with the same complaint and, this time he tells her it’s probably

“growing pains”. What 18-year-old female has growing pains? Answer: They

don’t! Girls usually stop growing between the ages 14-16 years old on average. 

A month later, I finally took her to the ER, and on the 29th of July we found 

out she had a very rare child’s bone cancer (Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma, in

situ grade 4). My daughter and our lives were turned upside down. I could not

understand how because my breast cancer was not genetic; it was just a fluke!

How could my child have cancer? Why didn’t our provider catch it earlier? 

Main reason, he was not documenting the visits and preferred to treat the 

symptoms with medication. Why didn’t any of my oncologists perform more

testing on me to find out why a 31-year-old female with a rare breast cancer

and no family history of cancer ended up with this diagnosis. The reason: 

Because (1) doctors and oncologists are not educated properly, (2) insurance

companies do not want to pay for testing or scans allowing them to choose

who lives and who dies. If our provider had just done an x-ray, my daughter

would still be here today. My daughter was given only 3 months to live after

her diagnosis. 


 I took her to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Again, the genetic 

counselors were the ones who tested and found that we had a genetic mutation

that causes rare types of cancers. They also educated our family on genetic 

testing and how knowing about our genetics is not a curse or death sentence

but allows us to be aware. If my doctors had done their jobs correctly, my 

daughter would still be with us because she would have been monitored and 

they would have caught and treated the cancer at early onset.


 I would never have had to watch my daughter suffer for 3 years with ongoing

pain, extreme treatments and the constant nightmare of her death. Kenna died 

on 07 July 2017 at 9:20 p.m. at our home from a massive pulmonary embolism

caused by the cancer. 


 Therefore, I am writing y’all because no parent, grandparent or siblings should 

ever witness the loss of a child, especially when it can be prevented. All my

children and myself included have been tested for the TP53 mutation (Li-Fraumeni

-Syndrome)My daughter Kenna, both my boys and I have the Li-Fraumeni-syndrome.

My other two daughters do not have the mutation. Since we know we have this

mutation, my boys are watched carefully getting blood work and ultrasounds

every  three months and MRIs every six months. As an adult I am only required

to have blood work every six months and scans once a year. My dad also was

tested recently and results came back positive for the mutation which means his

children and grandchildren could have the mutation This also means his siblings

 may have the mutation which they may have passed on to their children and



 I am provided y’all with information on this mutation, my children’s and my results.

Insurance companies and state insurances will pay for this test since you have a

parent, grandparent, sibling and child confirmed to carry this genetic mutation. I

suggest  that my dad’s siblings be tested first and, if they test positive for this

 mutation, then your children should get tested first followed by grandchildren if

necessary. Another factor is that if you have this mutation, you will never know

when you might get cancer. As you know my dad got cancer (sarcoma) in his 40s

and subsequently two additional sarcomas. My cancer appeared when I was 30

but took a year to be diagnosed. My daughter, Kenna, was 17 and took a year to

be diagnosed. Radiation can also trigger these types of cancers. Interestingly the

environment, occupations, etc.- anything can trigger cancers. These cancers are

rare and many of these cancers’ symptoms rarely show up until it’s too late. 


Please carefully consider undergoing this testing. If not for yourself, then

for your babies and loved ones, because they will suffer too. Cancer affects

the whole family, not just the person who has the disease. My intentions are

not to bring fear, just awareness and nobody should ever experience what

my family has experienced in the past three years and I would not wish this

on my worst enemy. My family just recently experienced the first-year

anniversary of our daughter death and the grief doesn't get easier or lessens

in time. The pain, emptiness and the loss are still there. 


If any of y’all have question, please email me,, or

message me through messenger on Facebook. I will try to help as much as

I can and I want to help.


Gladys L Anderson

Aunt Gladys died of Stage IV bone cancer. She had metastatic breast cancer when she was younger. She was
Jim Anderson's aunt, a former kindergarten teacher at Chester Park. She was related to Annie below.

Annie Lufholm
Annie has Stage IV breast cancer that has metastasized to her liver. She is determined to battle it as she works
two jobs and cares for two kids. She is a beautician at Art of Hair in Duluth and at the Country Cottage Salon 
in Lake Nebagamon, where she lives. She is in the October issue of the Duluth Superior Magazine under Style
Beauty & Soul, which is not online at the moment. Peggy Anderson opened
up her copy of the magazine to see someone who looked like an Anderson. After reading the article she was blown
away because she read that she is Lois Lufholm's daughter. One of Charlie Anderson (Grandpa Charlie) siblings
married a Lufholm and they had children.Peggy was surprised to read about one of her husbands relatives.Annie
is distantly related to Jim Anderson, the treasurer of this organization.

We were blessed to have Annie on the Many Faces of Breast Cancer Team in 2013. Annie died at age 53 after a
 9 year battle with breast cancer.She had hoped to be on the team in 2014. Annie was born September 6, 1960 to
 Donald Lufholm and Lois Larson Lufholm. She went to Duluth East and worked at Art of Hair in Duluth and 
Tiger Tanning Salon and Spa in Poplar.

Alaina Privette
Alaina taught high school math at Willow River Public Schools. She was in the August 2012 issue of The Duluth Superior Magazine
The link will be available mid August online. Alaina Privette, From Classroom to Chemotherapy: One Teacher's Story.
Watch the video, read her story, and look at her pictures. A well loved math teacher who got breast cancer.

Alaina's sister is related to Peggy Anderson's daughter. She died of breast cancer.
"Terry Lee" Churchill:   (Terry Lee is related to Peggy Anderson.)
Terry got breast cancer at age 36, she died 2 years later. She had reconstruction. Terry loved the Wizard of Oz; 
knew all the songs and words. She collectedWizard of Oz items and even had ruby slippers. She is missed by 
her family and friends. As of 2013, it has been 17 years since her death. Each year they put 
a memorial in the Duluth News Tribune each year. Her two sisters have "a Terry Lee Day" once a year.

" Those special memories of you will always bring a smile
if only we could have you back for just a little while. 

Then we could sit and talk again just like we used to do
while we watched the robins in the spring and the ice and snow melt too.

The fact that you're no longer here will always cause us pain
but you're forever in our hearts until we meet again."

Remembered Today and Always
"A life well lived is a precious gift
Of hope and strength and grace
From someone who has made our world
A brighter, better place.
It's filled with moments sweet and sad,
With smiles and sometimes tears,
With friendships formed
And good times shared
And laughter through the years.
A life well lived is a legacy
Of joy and pride and pleasure,
A loving, lasting memory
Our grateful hearts will treasure."

(Missed by Allison, Bobbi, Dean, Clay, Brian, Nicole, and many wonderful friends.)

Allison Churchill passed 8/19/19. She was  Terry Lee's sister.
Vicky Yrjanainen: "Our Mother, Vicky Yrjanainen, was diagnoised with Stage 4 Inflammatory
Breast Cancer on December 22, 2010. She didn't tell anyone until December 28th. She walked
through Christmas with a cloud over her shoulders and no one knowing except her. She helped
through the Christmas dinner quietly and in deep thought. She smiled as much as she could that
weekend to protect our happiness and keep that holiday free of stress.
Her Doctors appointment was set for that following Monday. All of us three children (Nina, Bo, 
and Trish) were able to attend along with her parents to hear of the Doctor's prognosis and 
treatment plan. It was a sureal moment for everyone. Walking those steps to the acceptance was
hard for all of us.
After the appointment, Mom shared a precious piece of time with us. Reminiscing of loving 
moments and her electric tickle-toe candy kisses she gave us while being tucked into bed. The
hours spent together seemed to drift along like minutes and seconds. The finality of the evening
drawing to a close will be ingrained in our minds forever.
We said goodbye, and Mom wanted us to feel comfort and peace with her diagnosis. She shared
her very personal and heart warming secret with us. Every time she was in a rough patch in life, 
she had her own mantra that would keep telling herself. She told us to "Think Sunshine." Things
will start to turn around soon. Just "Think Sunshine." Then she engulfed all of us with the biggest 
group hug ever made. That was when we decided that our finances weren't going to cover any of 
her added expenses, and we needed to plan the "Think Sunshine Benefit."
The "Think Sunshine Benefit" was held on March 24th, 2011 at Clyde-Ironworks. There was a sea
of Turquoise "Think Sunshine" T-shirts in the room. The Circle of Hope Booth, Music, Kid's games, 
Chique Boutique, Silent Auction Candy Booth, and Bake Sale. It was so much fun seeing the smiles
and happiness on everyone. Even more importantly, Mom was able to attend. She felt loved by so 
many. It was a beautiful day, and a nice start for her care. Most importantly, it was  celebration of her life.
The Circle of Hope helped with their support in so many ways. Donations, advertising, a solid shoulder
to lean on, and speaking at the event. Peggy Anderson, of Circle of Hope, helped out in more ways 
than she will ever understand. The support kept coming afterwards, too. I really do not think our 
family could have gotten through this without her.
The road ahead of her was hard and fierce. She originally tried the natural alternative methods until
she found herself in the hospital with pneumonia. She was then told that her cancer was too aggressive
for her treatment plan, and she decided to try chemotherapy.
Chemo was tough on her body, but that Finlander had so much Sisu (Inner will and powerful perseverance). 
She roughed out the sickness and everything that came with it. She never showed her pain.
Tammy Miller Graves Story:"I am 37 years and a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with
breast cancer at age 33. I believe my fertility treatments played a role in my breast cancer along 
with a family history of breast cancer and other cancers. I have the BRCA2, genetic breast cancer gene."
"I celebrate life each day because of my husband Ryan who helped me through the sorrows, joys,
 and disappointments in life. He is my real supporter. My three children, Alayna, Michael and Collin
 were very much a part of my healing."
"I would say, know your family cancer history and risk factors. You may not be able to change the 
risk factors but you can be more aware of cancer in your family. For women grouped together in 
every age category 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. For women ages 30-39 years of age, 
1 in 229 will get breast cancer in the next 10 years. Young women do get breast cancer and especially if there is a family history.
"My message is know your family cancer history."
Tammy Copp (Miller) Graves to the left.
Colleen Hasforth's Story:"I am a 57 year old, and I discovered my breast cancer one
month afer my 50th birthday. There was no history of breast cancer in my family."
"I had gone in for a diagnostic mammogram the first week in July, and I was terrified. 
My husband was at the cabin waiting for me when I thought I was going through a routine 
screening mammogram. We were surprised a week later when I was told I had breast cancer
by a surgeon. I was scheduled for surgery in six weeks. My husband and I walked out of the 
clinic, and I looked at my husband and said," "I am not waiting 6 weeks." "We decided to see
my oncologist, told him what the new surgeon had said. I had my surgery scheduled for the 
next Thursday. My husband told me everything would be okay; we went home and cried together."
"After I had surgery, I found out that I had Stage 3C, and it was within a millimeter of my chest 
wall. They took all the lymph glands from right arm, many positive. If I had waited 6 weeks, I 
would not have been here to enjoy my daughters wedding or my granddaughters birth."
"My oncologist was the most caring doctor, and he kept my family up to speed with all my 
treatments. I thank the Cancer Center at SMDC for caring for their patients with the 
compassion that patients deserve."
"I am now a 7-year breast cancer survivor, cancer free. I do all the sports I did before I was 
diagnosed with cancer, I bowl with the opposite hand and am doing quite well  with that. I also golf."
"I have 4 sisters and a great number of nieces, and I encourage them to have their yearly 
mammograms. This came as such a surprise to me that I don't want them to go through what I did."
"My message would be that if you are diagnosed to have your treatments early if you have 
aggressive breast cancer. Time is of the essence."