NH Business: Going 'over the edge' latest challenge for cancer survivor

·3 min read

Jun. 26—SUSANNA HAR-GREAVES is terrified of heights, but that won't stop her from rappelling 259 feet down the side of the Brady Sullivan Plaza building Tuesday.

It's just one more fear to conquer for the cancer survivor.

Four years ago, Har-greaves successfully battled triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form that affects about 13 in 100,000 women every year, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

During the Over the Edge event, Hargreaves will be among six people representing Pink Revolution, a nonprofit that supports cancer patients. The fundraiser organized by United Way of Greater Nashua aims to raise $125,000 for local nonprofits.

"Going over the edge is like a metaphor for me," Hargreaves said by phone Thursday. "I'm facing my fear of going over the edge. I've already faced cancer. I just, thought, 'Wow, I can do this. I can do this.'"

Pink Revolution Breast Cancer Alliance of New Hampshire supplies chemo care packages to cancer patients in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. It also provides gas and grocery gift cards to patients in need.

"When I went through cancer and faced my fear and went through chemotherapy and radiation, it was a very difficult time," said Har-geaves, an Amherst resident who works as a library media specialist at Clark Elementary School. "But I had a wonderful family and friends and a medical team."

Some cancer patients lack the financial means to battle the disease.

"When I found out there are people who are missing treatments or struggling to get to their treatments because they can't afford gas or that they're struggling to put food on the table while they're going through treatment, that really affected me and made me think, wow, we really need to do something," Hargreaves said.

Pink Revolution Breast Cancer Alliance of New Hampshire was founded by breast cancer survivor Lauren Caulfield and her friend Ronda Chrystal, who were inspired by a Pink Revolution event in Massachusetts.

"I was so impressed with Pink Revolution because immediately the money they raise goes to buy gift cards for gas and groceries. I wanted to do this to promote awareness and help raise money to honor those that are going through their treatment now who need it."

Pink Revolution is among two dozen local nonprofits that will be represented at Over the Edge. The 75 people who have raised at least $1,000 for their nonprofit will be making the climb down the 24-story tower.

The building is billed as having 20 floors, but that doesn't include the four stories above the top windows, said Mike Apfelberg, president and CEO of the United Way of Nashua.

Hargreaves said she didn't think twice before deciding to join one of Pink Revolution's two three-member teams for Over the Edge.

"I'm a goal person so having new things, new challenges is important because it makes you more alive," she said. "I'm going to keep facing things and achieving things as much as possible. I want to teach that to my children."

Hargreaves said she's always had a positive outlook about life and never doubted she would beat cancer.

"You can face your fears through knowledge and through love and having a positive attitude," she said.

How to donate

To contribute to Pink Revolution or another nonprofit participating in Over the Edge, visit https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/edge2022.

Or text edge2022 to 71777.

Note: Senior Editor Mike Cote and City Hall Reporter Paul Feely will be rappelling about 8:30 a.m. with an Over the Edge group that includes former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Randy Pierce of Future in Sight, Nick Garber of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Ashley Sullivan of Brady Sullivan.

Mike Cote is senior editor for news and business. Contact him at mcote@unionleader.com or (603) 206-7724.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not represent the views and opinions of the sponsor, its members and affiliates.