Breast cancer survivor’s message helps save lives ahead of annual Komen walk in Akron

2022 Komen Northeast Ohio More than Pink Walk this Saturday
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 12:48 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There are more than 4 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

It’s hard to find anyone who’s life hasn’t been touched, in some way, by the disease.

The key to survival, in many cases, is early diagnosis.

And as we gear up for the Susan. G Komen More than Pink Walk on Saturday, one of those survivors has an important message for all of us.

“It was a shock,” says Anita Abood, telling the story of her breast cancer diagnosis.

She had delayed her mammogram screening for months, thinking she was fine. She said no one in her family had a history of breast cancer.

Abood told the doctor, “Look it’s fat. We’re all good. I totally did not take it seriously.”

But the words from Abood’s doctor hit her like a ton of bricks.

“And I looked at her face and I said, ‘What are you saying?’ And she said, ‘I’m 99% sure you have breast cancer.’”

Abood was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in November 2016. By January the following year, she was starting chemotherapy.

This could have easily been one of the worst moments in Abood’s life, but her vibrant personality just would not allow for that: “This had to turn into something positive and I knew that.”

Abood’s family rallied around her.

“It was very difficult, but my sister was my rock. She went to every appointment, every chemo treatment. We made it a spa day,” says Abood.

Together, they counted down those 16 chemo treatments, until they could celebrate the final one.

“I want everyone to see that we can get through it. No one’s alone going through this,” says Abood.

Abood says she’s always been passionate about Susan G. Komen. But, after her diagnosis, the work of the organization took on a whole new meaning.

“They have resources that I knew nothing about, people will talk with you and work with you and support you and answer questions. You don’t know where to go, what to do and how to navigate through it, because it’s very difficult,” says Abood.

Abood has been the top fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Akron Walk for the past three years. Last year alone, her team raised $6,500.

“I’m so proud of my team at Continental. It’s the most amazing group of people. So generous, so kind,” says Abood.

Abood has now been cancer free for five years. But says her message has never been more important.

“I really want everyone to be aware and go get your mammogram and stay on schedule,” says Abood. She added, “I don’t think it should matter how old you are, if you feel like something is not right, you have to be your own advocate.”

Abood says, “This is not a club I ever wanted to be a member of, and if I’m going to be in this group, I’m going to make a difference and make a statement.”

The 2022 Komen Northeast Ohio More than Pink Walk is at the JOANN World Headquarters in Hudson on Sept. 17 at 9 a.m.