CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jen and Joe Pagani treasure every night they spend reading to their two young sons.
It means they've had another day together. Jen Pagani was only 37 when doctors diagnosed her with a rare form of breast cancer.
It's in my skin, and it is inflammatory, said Pagani. I was diagnosed with Stage III cancer. The statistics for my situation were not good. I think every day is a gift.
Pagani had no warning she would develop breast cancer. She has no family history and was healthy. In fact, she had competed in two ironman triathlons.
On Saturday, she'll compete in the most important race of her life: the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in uptown Charlotte. It will be Pagani's third Race for a Cure and about 200 of her friends, supporters and family members will be there with her.
It's very exciting and the energy and love are great. It's a source of hope and strength, she said.
In addition to trying to encourage more people to walk in the Race for the Cure, Pagani has also formed her own foundation to help others. It's called the Go Jen Go Foundation. Through donations, the foundation offers financial support to other women who are battling breast cancer.
But the Paganis hold Komen dear. They credit the race for helping Jen Pagani fight her cancer.
There's specific Komen research that's lead to helping this specific form of cancer, said Joe Pagani.
Jen Pagani is hoping her story will inspire others to walk in the Race for the Cure. You can join the race up until race day, but if you'd like to be a member of the Go Jen Go team, the deadline is Tuesday.
I pray every night that I'll see Rocco and Luca graduate from high school. I want to spend happy, healthy days with Joe and the boys, Pagani said.
Our goal is to get Jen to the next more effective treatment, said Joe Pagani.
If you'd like to join Pagani's team, click here.