Champion survivor Iditarod sled-dog musher to speak on her battle with cancer

DeeDee Jonrowe, of Alaska, is a champion sled-dog musher, who has the fastest time of any woman in the history of the Iditarod, the grueling race of more than 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome.

But she doesn’t see that battle against the elements as her greatest achievement.

Jonrowe is a breast cancer survivor.

“To be honest with you,” she said, “the race trail has been a training ground in life. I found that the lessons I learned in racing (provided) the patterns and the faith-building” for all of life’s challenges.

Jonrowe will be the guest speaker at a Woman’s Hospital event for women, family members and caregivers called “Surviving and Thriving: Women Living with Cancer,” on Saturday.

The day will offer dozens of free, 45-minute seminars on a range of topics from body image, nutrition, fitness, spirituality, plastic surgery, radiation, caregivers, genetics, mental health and more.

Jonrowe will be the speaker at the 11:45 a.m. luncheon, which is being coordinated by Holly Clegg, author of “Eating Well Through Cancer.” The luncheon is $15, payable at the event.

Jonrowe, who has received special recognition for the excellent care she gives her sled dogs, has been racing in the Iditarod for 31 years.

In 2003, she and her dog team crossed the finish line in 18th place, just three weeks after she finished chemotherapy treatment.

“I would have hoped I would never have to deal with that again,” said Jonrowe of the cancer experience. But she has seen loved ones contend with the disease, as well.

Jonrowe, who lost her father, Ken Stout, to metastatic melanoma four months ago, will be accompanied by her mother, Peggy Stout, a fellow breast cancer survivor, when she visits Baton Rouge this week.

“Surviving and Thriving: Women Living with Cancer,”

presented by Woman’s Hospital

WHAT: A day of free, 45-minute seminars on a wide variety of topics for women living with cancer, family members and caregivers.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Saturday. Complimentary breakfast at 8 a.m.; seminars begin at 9 a.m. Champion Iditarod dog-sled racer DeeDee Jonrowe will be lunchtime speaker at 11:45 a.m. Luncheon cost is $15.

WHERE: Renaissance Hotel, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd.

REGISTRAION:; (225) 924-8794.