Why She Tries
Jessica Dunton will be one of a 1,000 athletes participating in the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Tri for a Cure. This will be her third Tri for a Cure. But in 2013, Jessica never imagined she would participate in the Tri, let alone any triathlon.
That was the year Jessica started a new job in Saco with Town & Country Federal Credit Union and became friends with her co-worker, Jennifer Owen. When the two met, Jennifer was in the midst of treatment for breast cancer. Jessica marveled at how strong and open Jennifer was in talking about her experiences and struggles living with cancer and her chemotherapy treatment.
After Jennifer completed her treatment, she wanted to find a way to thank those who supported her and help others still dealing with cancer. She decided to do the Tri in 2014 and asked Jessica and another co-worker to join her team to take on this challenge.
Reluctantly, Jessica said yes. She wasn’t so sure she was up for the task, but realized riding a bike for 15 miles had to be easier than what someone dealing with cancer had to endure.
Before doing the Tri in 2014, Jessica participated in Mary’s Walk and the Twilight 5K. There she saw firsthand the grit and determination of the athletes doing their part to honor those facing cancer and helping find a cure. She was inspired by the women of all ages, shapes and sizes participating in these races. She knew she could do it and helped her team complete their first triathlon.
Jessica continues to compete in the Tri not only to recognize her friend and co-worker, but to also remember and honor her grandmother, Grace. Raise by this woman from the age of five, Jessica’s grandmother passed away in 2008 from breast cancer--just one month before her daughter, Gracie was born. Now that Gracie is eight years old, Jessica wants her to understand how cancer has not only affected her family, but the community and how important it is for each of us to do our part to help someone else.
Today, Jessica does the Tri to remember those she has lost, celebrate those who have overcome, and to inspire her daughter to make a difference in the future. Three pretty good reasons to Tri.