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Breast Cancer Survivor Volunteer – Karen

Karen, a volunteer for the Survivors Helping Survivors program.
Karen, a volunteer for the
Survivors Helping Survivors

I am the mother of three and have been an educator for 17 years. A sunny garden with warm soil, worms and bright flowers is my therapy and meditation site.

On June 6, 2006 I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) in the right breast at age 51. I underwent a right lumpectomy and 37 days of radiation. In Jan. 2008, I was diagnosed with multi-focal DCIS in the left breast. In April 2008, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and bilateral DIEP reconstruction.

I have met many “angel friends” through my mom, sisters, family and work. One important thing was to keep a positive attitude. On April 1, 2008 I hosted a “Bye-Bye Boobie” party for 12 remarkable women supporters. The fun picture gallery decorated my hospital room.

Being a breast cancer survivor has taught me to take time for myself and look for everyday miracles. I volunteer because many women held my hand, rubbed my back and shared encouraging words. I want to pass that comfort on to newly diagnosed women.

My one piece of advice for you is to keep a copy of every test/report and follow what your heart tells you is right for you.


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