Third Grade Teacher, Lake Elmo Elementary, Stillwater, MN
B.S., Elementary Education
B.S., Health, University of Wisconsin
M.A., Teaching, St. Mary’s University
2007 Boom Running World Champion
2006 & 2007 Overall World Champion
2007 1st place Lumberjack World Championships in Women’s Log Rolling, Boom Running and Team Relay
2005 Log Rolling Champion, #1 in Boom Running, #2 in Log Rolling, 2009
6 ESPN Great Outdoor Games medals
19 podiums at World Championships
7 podium finishes at STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series, etc.
Married with one son
Jenny Atkinson: Beat Breast Cancer
The 700 Club
Appearance Date: October 22, 2010
In 2009, Jenny Atkinson was at the top of her game. She was a professional athlete and had just competed in the Lumberjack World Championships and placed high. She had also given birth to her first child, son Berendt (who she affectionately calls “Bear”) in April.
In the fall of 2009, after her last appearance on The 700 Club, she found a lump in one of her breasts. She wasn’t concerned, because she had no family history of breast cancer and she was healthy.
On December 9, 2009, the doctor told her she had cancer. She was diagnosed with DCIS and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (stage 2, grade 3 – an aggressive form of cancer). Jenny was very calm, cool, and collected while absorbing the information. The doctor scheduled an MRI for the following day, and her journey was just beginning.
From the start, Jenny decided she was going to beat the disease. She had plenty of love and support from her family and friends. It was hard for Jenny to stop nursing Bear before she intended and to know that she wouldn’t be able to have more children naturally. Despite her challenges, Jenny knew that God was good and knew that He heard her prayers, cries, screams and whispers.
The plan was four months of chemotherapy, recovery, surgery, more.recovery, six weeks of radiation, and another IV drug for twelve months. This treatment plan would be completed by February 2011. By December 29, Jenny started her first round of chemotherapy. She had mostly good days, but some that she would rather have forgotten. On January 19, 2010, her hair was falling out to the point she had to shave her head. Her husband and father also shaved their heads in support of Jenny.
In March, Jenny’s 13-year-old timbersport protégé, Jessica, was involved in “The Mush for A Cure,” an event to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, on her behalf. The benefit raised over $30,000 and Jessica collected nearly $11,000 in pledges.
Her last intense chemotherapy was in the beginning of April 2010. By April 29 she was scheduled to have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery done. The day after surgery she was extremely grateful to God that she had no cancerous nodes. In the first week and a half there were good moments and agonizing times. Her final diagnosis was good: no cancer in her lymph nodes, no further radiation or second surgery was needed, the chemotherapy killed over 90 percent of the tumor and her body reacted very well to the treatment, and there was no cancer or changing cells in her breast.
Jenny kept biking and going for walks and followed her doctors’ advice concerning this step in recovery. By the end of June she was back on logs and found no limitations. By August, she was already competing at the Lumberjack World Championships again and took 5th place in one of the events.
During the 25th anniversary event of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series presented by Carhartt at the Oregon State Fair Aug. 27-29, STIHL presented Jenny with a one-of-a-kind pink STIHL MS 660 retired competition chain saw in honor of her fight against breast cancer. Also, other friends/competitors wore custom necklaces, a boom runner with a pink ribbon, to show their support.
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