After losing her mother to breast cancer in 2003, Kathy was diligent about receiving her annual mammogram, and in 2011 her routine visit saved her life. It was there that the doctors found a lump and after additional tests and a biopsy confirmed Kathy’s worst fear – she had breast cancer. Kathy underwent a lumpectomy soon after but was plagued with stress and worry each day.
In Kathy’s first appointment with an oncologist following her surgery, she was told she needed to endure five years of intensive radiation treatment that would cost $25,000. Hoping for better results, Kathy went to receive a second opinion at the Cancer Center in Oconomowoc. There they explained the radiation treatment she was first prescribed would have been detrimental to her health due to a pre-existing blood-clotting disorder she had. Kathy and the oncologist from the Cancer Center decided the risks of radiation were too risky at that time, especially because the lumpectomy had removed all of the cancer and her margins were clear.
Despite the good news that she did not need to undergo the expensive radiation treatment, Kathy was still concerned that her unstable financial situation did not lead to any immediate resolve for the medical bills that began to pile up. It was when Kathy was introduced to Komen Southeast Wisconsin by her medical team that she began feel hopeful again. Komen Southeast Wisconsin supplied Kathy with a grant that covered her medical bills and thanks to Komen, she has moved forward with a new perspective on life.
As a survivor, Kathy is so thankful of the support that she received from Komen Southeast Wisconsin that she helps fundraise for the organization, knowing that there are likely more women, just like her, faced with the same health and financial challenges and that a Komen grant might be able to help.