Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN is representing in No Stomach For Cancer’s first annual Walk for Stomach Cancer Awareness!
Twin Cities walk organizer Rachel Domaszek remembers her mother Chong Suk (Cho) Domaszek as a lively and compassionate woman, who frequently organized office potluck lunches and donation drives for food shelves and other charitable causes.
Chong Suk was born in Busan, South Korea, on July 25, 1954. She met her husband, Gary Domaszek, a career Army officer, while working at Camp Casey.
Chong Suk and Gary married on Jan. 29, 1980, at the U.S. Embassy in South Korea. They moved to the United States, beginning a fun-filled life together—balancing a life of world travel while raising their three children. Each of their children was born in a different part of the United States, the youngest born just three days before the family moved from Wisconsin to Texas. The family took advantage of every vacation, every weekend, and every sightseeing opportunity to experience the world’s beauty.
In May 2010, Chong Suk began having trouble eating and drinking. She experienced reflux, nausea, and vomiting. She immediately sought medical attention. Her family doctor did not know what was wrong with her, and so he referred her to a local cancer clinic. The specialist insisted there was nothing wrong with her, and that her symptoms were psychological and due to stress. He asked her to set up an appointment in 90 days if her symptoms did not improve. Chong Suk subsequently visited this specialist three more times before he finally figured out in February 2011 that she had cancer. He diagnosed her with Stage 1diffuse-type stomach cancer.
Rachel writes that her mother then decided to go to a family friend, a world renowned stomach cancer specialist in South Korea. “He reviewed my mother’s CT scans and tests from the US, and correctly determined that my mother was already at Stage 4, and not at Stage 1. The following week, Dr. Mok attempted a resection, and the resection failed because the cancer had spread all over her abdomen. Dr. Mok felt so badly that the US doctors had screwed over my mother, he really went above and beyond in my mother’s care.”
On January 26, 2011 Rachel lost her mom to non-hereditary diffuse-type gastric cancer. She was 57. Rachel gave birth to a child, her mother’s first grandchild, a few months after her mother’s death.
“What happened to my mom and my family was a tragedy,” Rachel writes, “and unfortunately I believe, a preventable one, had the US medical community been more knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is virtually ignored in the US. The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society rarely fund stomach cancer research, even though it is the second deadliest cancer in the world.”
Rachel and her family, want to turn this around and so, have spearheaded the Minnesota walk. To Rachel’s surprise the Twin Cities event has grown rapidly, and had to be relocated to accommodate interested walkers. People are meeting Saturday morning, rain or shine, at the Luce Line Trail in Plymouth.
On Nov. 3, people around the world will be walking with you, Rachel, in honor of your mother Chong Suk. For stomach cancer patients and their loved ones around the world, we walk for new treatments and to improve awareness in the medical community of this terrible disease. Join us!
Support Rachel’s Fundraiser on Crowdrise: Scar-Szek v. Stomach Cancer