St. Patrick's Day parade rolls through Burlington - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

St. Patrick's Day parade rolls through Burlington

Burlington, Vermont - March 17, 2010

"I'm a fighter and a person who's looking for a miracle," Jean Burnor said.

Burnor has been waiting for that miracle for nine long years; nearly a decade battling breast cancer.

"Hey, I've got both hands up, God. If you want to give a miracle, I'm ready for one!" she said.

But the Fairfield grandmother of 11 took a break from her treatment Wednesday, to climb into the cab of a concrete mixer.

The S.D. Ireland Concrete Company gives an annual fundraising tribute to cancer survivors and patients.

"People like Jean and people like my husband and everybody out there that's gotten a cancer diagnosis," explained Kim Ireland, of the S.D. Ireland Cancer Foundation.

The company has matched the Ireland name with the Patron Saint of that country for its St. Patrick's Day mixer parade.

The 24th annual event had Jean Burnor as the grand marshal.

"We will find a cure for this-- this dreaded disease," Burnor said.

She led nearly 20 mixers on a tour of the Burlington area, waving to the bar-goers on Church Street; many who toasted her and the fleet.

"It's just a lot of fun to see that," Burnor said.

Ads sold on the mixers' drums fund cutting-edge cancer research at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Burnor has a family history of breast cancer and now tells friends and total strangers alike to do self-exams for lumps; how she caught her tumor.

"Checking is the most important thing," she said.

Nine years and still more chemo to go, Jean Burnor says she feels better than she has in five years.

"I can't wait to get into the gardens and do my work!" she said.

But first it's time to enjoy this one-of-a-kind holiday ride.

This year's parade raised $100,000. All that money will stay right here in Vermont funding research, hoping patients like Jean Burnor can enjoy many more parades like this one.

Click here for more on the S.D. Ireland Cancer Research Fund.

Jack Thurston - WCAX News

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