‘I’ve helped younger women like myself who are scared to death', says breast cancer survivor
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - One in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
But the mission of Susan G. Komen is to find a cure.
And this year, despite COVID-19, that mission is not cancelled. The virtual ‘More than Pink’ walk in Cleveland is Saturday, August 15.
All week, 19 News is introducing you to local women who are raising awareness about breast cancer and showing us how Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio has impacted their lives.
Meet Kristen Siskind: “I was 30 years old and I had only been married for 9 months,” says Kristen Siskind.
But cancer doesn’t discriminate.
“I had no symptoms. I never felt sick. I just felt that lump in my breast when I was in the shower,” explains Kristen.
The doctor’s words came like a gut punch: “We’re pretty confident that it’s breast cancer,” says Kristen.
Then, Kristen says, there was a whirlwind of tests and biopsies.
The worst part was waiting for the results.
“It was stage 3 triple negative breast cancer which is the most aggressive form of breast cancer and it had spread to five of my lymph nodes,” says Kristen.
Kristen’s 16 rounds of chemotherapy ended two days after her 31st birthday. And right now, she is cancer free.
“My prognosis is pretty good. I’m not out of the clear. I have my big 5 year anniversary in 2022 so that will be the big celebration,” says Kristen.
Kristen is turning her focus to mentoring others through the Susan G. Komen family.
“I’ve helped younger women like myself who are scared to death. I didn’t know anyone I could talk to so I give them tips and tricks about getting through chemo and radiation,” says Kristen.
Kristen says this is her new found passion: helping others walking in her same path, but maybe aren’t as fortunate.
“I just hear stories of people who have metastatic breast cancer or can’t afford a ride to treatment or can’t afford to get a mammogram and I just want to help others,” says Kristen.
The Susan G. Komen walks have been her inspiration. Kristen and her CANnon Crew are one of the top fundraisers.
“Susan G. Komen is about that, helping people, funding clinical trials. They are paving the way to a world without breast cancer,” says Kristen. Kristen’s team will walk together via ‘zoom’ for the ‘More than Pink’ event this year, but nothing can dampen Kristen’s spirits or her contagious smile: “I am happy, healthy, alive and just so happy to be here.”
This year, the ‘More Than Pink’ walk is a ‘Walk Where You Are’ event Because of COVID-19. It’s Saturday, August 15th.
The virtual opening ceremony starts at 10am. You can watch it on CW43.
Our very own Nichole Vrsansky is the emcee.
You can still sign up or donate at KomenNEOhio.org
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