The Backstory of Stridin’ & Survivin’
A Hamel, IL Based Cancer Organization

The story of how this non-profit breast cancer organization, based in Edwardsville, Illinois, began with the family history of many types of cancer in Alice Bartels’ family. As a young girl, Bartels learned that her aunt had bone cancer. After a long and courageous battle, her aunt passed. At that age, Alice didn’t understand what cancer was, but saw that it caused a lot of pain and suffering for the patient and their family. Unfortunately, the pain and suffering of cancer continued to spread throughout her father’s side of the family with diagnoses of several different types of cancers taking the lives of her grandmother, three aunts and her own father. Additionally, an aunt on her mother’s side was lost to leukemia. But unfortunately, the tragedies did not stop there. In 1986, Bartels lost her sister-in-law to cancer and years later she also lost her in-laws to the disease. Her husband and two other sisters-in-law were also diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, due to advances in cancer research, they were able to beat the disease. In 2005 Bartels received her own diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer.

walkers placing their feet together
team members standing together

While early detection and treatment helped Alice to be a cancer survivor, all the loss, her own battle and volunteering for other breast cancer organizations in St. Louis, it also drove her to participate in her first 3-Day, 60-Mile walk for breast cancer. In 2008, Alice, joined by her daughter, sister-in-law and niece, raised $8800 to participate in the San Diego 60 Mile walk. The event had such a huge impact on all of them that they decided they wanted to continue raising awareness and funding for cancer research by participating in even more walks. In doing so, they created a local non-profit breast cancer organization that would allow them to legally raise funding for cancer research and patient services. After learning that their original name “Journey For A Cure” couldn’t be used, they brainstormed and Stridin’ & Survivin’ was born.

Each year since inception, Stridin’s volunteers continue to participate in walk challenges and their determination to find a cure for cancer grows stronger. Although the focus of the walks they participate in is breast cancer research, they know that advancements in breast cancer research also helps research for other cancers as well. Their focus as an organization is to continue to raise awareness and support research for all types of cancer and to provide support to cancer patients going through treatments.

women doing a shoe salute
Fuel the Cure Gas Card Program - Stridin' & Survivin'

In January 2023, “Fuel the Cure”, a program that provides gas cards to help patients with the costs of traveling to and from cancer treatment was established. Their hope is to expand this program to assist as many as possible in Edwardsville, IL surrounding communities. As their name states, they’ll continue stridin’ to raise awareness and funding for research and patient services to increase the numbers of those survivin’.

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