Sarcoma Stories: Sarina McNamara

Sarina and Ergodyne, an Incredible Story

McNamara_Sarina_2040_0“Most twenty-four year olds are lucky and they don’t even know it,” said 24-year old Sarina McNamara. After going through seven rounds of chemotherapy, Sarina said she’s learned to appreciate the simple things in life, “I appreciate my eyelashes and the way they protect my eyes.”

Sarina was first diagnosed with sarcoma in December 2014 after finding a lump in her leg. Since then she’s been treated at the University of Minnesota Masonic Center. She’s been very pleased with the support both her doctors at the U of M and volunteers from the Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Foundation have given her. “Rein in Sarcoma is really awesome. I got my binder (Sarcoma Patient Starter Notebook) when I was first diagnosed,” said Sarina. The Sarcoma Patient Starter Notebook was how Sarina was first introduced to Rein in Sarcoma.

Sarina gave an intensely moving speech July 27 at the 15th Annual Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Party in the Park. Party Chairman Kevin O’Keefe said hearing her speak was one of his favorite parts of the evening. Sarina said, “I was so honored to be able to speak at Party in the Park.”

In her speech Sarina shared what it was like to receive a cancer diagnosis while in the prime of her life. She said she had finally found a great job and she dreaded having to take time off from work. She said when she was first diagnosed she had hoped she could take just a couple of sick days after receiving chemotherapy treatment. She soon learned that the recovery would take much longer.

Thankfully her coworkers at Ergodyne were very supportive. Sarina said her coworkers came together to share her workload while she was recovering. In the past few months Sarina has returnedMcNamara_Sarina_1881 to work on a part-time basis.

Senior Vice President of Sales at Ergodyne Mark Lindstrom commented on Sarina’s work group, “The team Sarina works on and the department she works in is a very tight group. They have strict schedules and demanding jobs that require careful attention to detail and multi-tasking to the extreme. They quickly learn to pitch in and help one another, stick up for each other, and most importantly support one another. Sarina learned this very quickly and became a valued team member almost from day one. What they did for her would be done for anyone on the team. Sarina quickly became family and that’s how we treat family.”

Furthermore, Ergodyne has been very generous and surprised Sarina by becoming a sponsor for Party in the Park. Additionally, Ergodyne donated a product basket for the Party in the Park silent auction.

When asked how Ergodyne chose to support Rein in Sarcoma, Mark Lindstrom said, “Ergodyne is a great company with a big heart and gives to many and varied organizations and causes literally around the world. We have a giving committee that coordinates that activity, and through them – and of course our beloved Sarina – we learned about the [RIS] Foundation. Several of the causes we support are rooted in a personal struggle of one of our folks or one of their loved ones. We were proud to support the good work of the Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Foundation and so very grateful Sarina has had such a wonderful result.”

McNamara_Sarina_Ergodyne_IHE_2031When asked what she would like others to know about cancer, Sarina indicated that many people have commented on her being strong, and said, “People have this view of cancer. I was sad a lot. I had to be strong because I was fighting for my life.” Sarina continued by saying the most helpful thing people can do for her is to continue to be understanding. Sarina said her life involves dealing with the aftermath of sarcoma treatment every single day. Sarina said that support from family, friends, coworker,s plus her faith in God, have all helped her navigate through her sarcoma journey.