2011 Courage for Life Awardee
Susun L. Hosford
"As strange as it may sound, having ovarian cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me" says Susun Hosford who this year is celebrating her 10th of being cancer free. "Being an ovarian cancer survivor has helped me to be more compassionate, has strengthened my ability to deal with adversity, and has permanently instilled in me a passion for living life intentionally."
Susun received her diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer in July 2001 very shortly after she was laid off from a small high tech startup company where she was Director of Business Development. Prior to her surgery, she distinctly remembers her gynecological oncologist and surgeon, Dr. Charles Drescher, asking her if she would be interested in donating tissue to the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. "That was the very first time I had ever heard of this organization, and little did I know at the time, how involved I would become with the Rivkin Center in the future" recalls Susun. After surgery, Susun qualified to participate in an eight month chemotherapy clinical trial, designed to validate new drug combinations and protocols in fighting ovarian cancer. "Having cancer is one thing, but participating in a clinical trial was truly terrifying, but it was definitely the right decision for me". Within three months of her clinical trial Susun's prognosis took a turn for the fantastic and she has never looked back since. "I am truly one of the lucky ones, and every day I remind myself that I fought hard to be here, so let's make the best of it while helping others to do the same."
Health has always been a part of Susun's life, starting with her training for the 1968 Olympics in swimming to her love for bicycling where this past year she completed her second RAMROD, a 160 mile bicycle ride around and up Mount Rainier finishing in just under 12 hours while being the 9th oldest woman in the ride.
Susun is a Marketing Project Management Consultant specializing in marketing strategy, project management, and business process improvement. With over 25 years marketing experience in the high technology industry, she has worked both internationally and domestically for companies ranging from large corporations to small startups. Susun has been proud to serve as a board member of the Rivkin Center since 2009.