Breast cancer survivor Ruth Susee of Kenduskeag is one amazing woman.

Ruth, who will soon be 59, was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 1998.

Each year, since 2004, she has walked the 60-mile, Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in a variety of cities throughout the U.S.

This year, she will participate July 23-25 in the Boston fundraiser from a completely different perspective: As a crew member.

“My heart really is in walking,” Ruth told me.

But she had good reason to change plans.

“I have a friend at work who is also a cancer survivor,” Ruth said.

“She can’t walk [in the event] and she wanted to be involved, so I said I’ll crew with you.

“Funny thing is, she had to back out because she has family coming, so it’s just me, but I’m excited.

“It will give me a different perspective. I will get to see everybody who comes through.”

Ruth will work one of the walk’s “pit stops,” she said of stations every 2-3 miles that offer port-a-potties, a medical crew, water and food.

Ruth said walkers start “as early in the morning as is safe” and that, sometimes, “the walkers don’t stop until 8 p.m.”

For those who might not make it to the stations in a timely fashion, “a bus will help them get further along,” Ruth explained.

“There is always a safety crew on the road,” she said.

By being a member of the 3-Day crew, Ruth will see “the other side of everything. It will give me a whole different look at things,” she said.

“I’m a fairly fast walker and usually done by 1:30-2 p.m., so a lot of the walkers I don’t see, but I expect I’ll see a lot of familiar faces since I do it every year.”

And why did I say Ruth is one amazing woman?

Because she’s not stopping here.

After serving as crew for the Boston walk, Ruth will walk the Denver 3-Day Aug. 27-29 and the Washington, D.C., 3-Day Oct. 8-10.

Stay tuned.


I received a letter from Joe and Karen Pouliot of Old Town expressing thanks to everyone who made contributions to help their young neighbor Phebe Guido, the 4-year-old daughter of John and Gia Guido of Old Town who underwent a lower-leg amputation in March because of a sudden onset of Type 1 diabetes.

Joe and Karen wrote “all of you have reminded [us] that there is still compassion in the world.”

“Phebe is home, but she has a long road ahead of her.

“She has three types of therapy to attend to continue to [help] heal her.

“God Bless all of you for helping and caring,” the Pouliots wrote, adding that Phebe “still has a beautiful, sunshine smile.”

You may remember reading in the Bangor Daily News that Phebe is the youngest of the Guidos’ four children and, while Gia is employed by the Orono Recreation Department, shortly before Phebe’s medical emergency her dad, an electrician, was laid off from his job with Maine’s wind power industry.

After receiving the Pouliots’ letter, I spoke with John Guido, with whom I will meet later this month to bring you a more complete, up-to-date, progress report on just how Phebe is doing, and how her family is doing as well.


On July 9 I wrote about Caribou Historical Society’s effort to raise the remaining $8,000 needed to construct a barn behind the CHS museum on U.S. Route 1 to house the 1959 Conestoga wagon that was part of Caribou’s centennial and sesquicentennial.

CHS president Joe Bouchard called Monday morning to say some of you already have responded to that request, and we hope many more will do so.

Anyone donating $100 or more will have his or her name placed on a plaque inside the barn, but any and all donations are most welcome.

In the column, I wrote the base for the barn had been laid and Joe expected a free, public, “hay dance” on that barn base, to thank folks for helping with the project, would be held July 24.

However, Joe told me there are so many other activities being held by the CHS this month that members decided to postpone the free hay dance until mid-August.

So, put away your hay-dancing shoes. You don’t have to dust them off yet.

If you can help with the barn fund, send your donation to CHS, Route 1, Caribou 04736.


I am on vacation.

My column returns to this section Wednesday, July 28.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402;; 990-8288.