Family Celebrates Survival and Blessings of Breast Cancer
Omaha, NE--The majority of breast cancer patients have no family history, but a diagnosis creates one.
For Kate Sommer and her mother, Aunt Jackie's discovery started their family journey.
Then when Kate was 30 and pregnant, she was diagnosed. Mickey Dotson followed her daughter two years later and she says it was less scary for her because she watched Kate survive.
"It took so much of the fear that I might have had if I was the first diagnosed out of it," comments Mickey.
The three cases of the same type of breast cancer had all the women in the family tested to see if they carry one of the two breast cancer genes. They don't.
And it prompted the family to turn fear into action, survival into empowerment. Kate explains it this way, "You don't get an experience like this and then not do something about it."
Kate started the survivor's luncheon to honor women who beat the odds.
"And last year Jackie was the longest survivor there," Mickey adds.
All the members of the family take part in Race for A Cure. They say battling breast cancer is a personal and family mission.
"As long as I'm here, why don't I put the energy into trying to find a cure for it," Kate mentions.
For this mother-daughter duo, breast cancer has also proved to be a blessing.
"For me breast cancer is kind of a gift reminding me that I need to be living my life on track," Kate says. "It's a wake-up call; it's a reality check; it's what do you really want to do with your life? How do you want to feel? And if there are things that aren't working well or things you haven't worked through you gotta do that so that's what you do. So it makes your life richer, it makes your life better."
Mickey adds, "watching her emerge from this with the kind of grace and determination she has and then embrace the ways to do something about it in the sphere that was broader than her whole life."
A truly life-altering experience they say has taught them to nurture each other and celebrate their strengths.
As Kate puts it, "You have two choices: you can sink or you can swim. You can be a martyr and a victim about it or you can be a survivor about it and I choose to be a survivor and I choose that every day."
Reported by Carol Wang, email@example.com