AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The Akron Race for the Cure is just days away.
While it is special every year for those who keep coming back, many will say there's nothing like the experience as a first-year breast cancer survivor.
That's exactly what has 38-year-old Heather Septer so excited about Sunday's race.
Septer says she never thought of herself as a "survivor" until it became quite the title to hold at the Komen event.
This will be her first time being part of it and just thinking about what it means to so many women like her brings up serious emotions.
The Wadsworth wife and mother of two began her battle with breast cancer not even a year ago when something told her, as she puts it, she needed to do a self breast exam.
Septer was sitting on the couch alone watching television when she felt an unmistakable lump.
She says as soon as the doctor confirmed it was breast cancer, the battle began.
"The biggest thing was reasoning with God, you know, not like questioning him, not why, but more, just let it be minor," Septer said through tears. "Let it be okay, so I could, you know, raise my kids."
Septer turned out to be BRCA positive.
Research helped it all make sense. Relatives who she didn't really know on her father's side had breast cancer.
Septer made the choice to have a double mastectomy, have her breasts reconstructed, and have her ovaries removed in one surgery.
You would think that would give her a clean bill of health, but that was not the case.
Later tests showed Septer's lymph nodes put her in danger too.
She would have to undergo chemo too. Her daughter, 7-year-old Jillian, looks at her mother with love as she shares the story.
"It was rough. I wanted to help her be more happier so she wouldn't be sad," said Jillian.
So many felt the same way.
Her husband and other family members and friends shaved their heads in support of Septer after the chemo took her hair.
Now, about ten months later, Septer is cancer free.
While the emotional shock of it all and the fear clearly linger in her voice, Septer is clearly one who tries to see the positive.
"It has brought forth a lot of friendships that I've not had before, stronger family relationships and just a more of a sense of enjoying things!"
It's that attitude she's taking to the Akron Race for the Cure, even training by walking the distance and then some a few times a week.
To her, like so many others, the event is a chance for all those who've been with her through this journey to "come together in celebration, as opposed to in need of help."
Septer named her team "Never Give Up."
You can donate to her fundraising efforts HERE.