Team Lilian: Race for the Cure Top Rookie Team of the Year

Pictured above is Team Lilian at the 2017 Susan G. Komen San Diego Race for the Cure at Balboa Park.

Lilian Vanvieldt-Gray knew she was at risk for cancer because of her family history, so it was very important for her to be up to date with her annual screenings. However, knowing her risk didn’t soften the blow when she was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer during a routine mammogram. Overwhelmed by the diagnosis and the treatment that followed, her husband, Douglas Gray, rallied their network of friends and family to walk in Susan G. Komen San Diego’s Race for the Cure.

“The Race for the Cure was the second best day of my life – my wedding day still ranks as the greatest day ever,” said Lilian. “I know it’s strange that something like cancer can provide moments of such pure joy. The day of the walk was phenomenal.”

Lilian and Douglas also wanted to help the thousands of women who don’t have access to breast health services in San Diego. Team Lilian raised an astonishing $33,000 dollars for Komen San Diego, making them the Top Rookie Team of the year. They raised the equivalent of 264 mammograms or 10,000 meals for breast cancer patients and their families, or more than 500 round trips to treatment and therapy appointments through Komen’s transportation service.

“It was overwhelming to see the effort that my friends put into making the Race memorable for me,” said Lilian. “It was inspiring to meet others who are fighting their battle just like me and those who have won their fight.”

Lilian finished her first round of chemo right before Thanksgiving and is ready to tackle round two.

With the money raised by supporters, like Team Lilian, Komen San Diego is able to cover costs for critical breast health services for women and men who are uninsured and underinsured.

  • Free mammograms
  • Research
  • Food assistance
  • Transportation to and from treatment
  • Temporary financial assistance for the most critical needs
  • Patient navigation and intensive care coordination
  • Diagnostics such as biopsies, ultrasounds, MRI’s and more