Breast cancer survivor shares her personal story ahead of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

(WXYZ) - The Detroit Komen Race for the Cure is just days away.

It is a day dedicated to breast cancer survivors, their families and friends. Huge crowds join each year to show their support for the cause. The event will take place at Chene Park on June 7.

Thursday morning, we spoke with a cancer survivor who shared their personal story.

7 action news reporter Nima Shaffe sat down with the cancer survivor who is coming to grips with the reality that she is now a survivor.

The Karmanos Cancer Institute receives hundreds of thousands of dollars every year thanks to the kind hearts of Detroiters like yourself.

They simply take the money and begin using it, helping people. People like 25-year old Jenny Stewart.

Here’s her story.

“My father had prostate cancer. I was 15 and he passed away.”

Less than 10 years after her father died from cancer, Jenny Stewart came face to face with the silent killer herself.

November of last year, Jenny visited a new doctor. It was part of a new insurance plan she got. Basic health insurance that covered four visits a year.

“She gave me a physical. She said ok we don’t have to do a pap smear but I do want to feel your breasts and I thought, why?”

After all, there was never a history of breast cancer in her family.

“I then thought well my mother has had lumps removed her whole life none of which have been cancer and I’m very much like my mother and I remember her whole life she’s always said to me, ‘we’re lumpy people’  - you know kind of made jokes about it.”

This time it would prove to be no laughing matter. A biopsy was done. Then the news.

“I was about to go out to dinner with Jason. It was like 7:30 at night and I was putting my makeup on and I put my phone on my desk and I put it on speaker and I saw that it was my doctor, and I was like oh she’s just calling to tell me it’s all good.”

But, it was far from good.

"Jenny I'm sorry to call you like this, but I didn't want you to have to wait and come in and that's when my heart went phew. I could just feel my heart sink. And I'm like yeah, she's like you have cancer.”

As with most 20-somethings she carried the bare minimum for insurance. And why not, these photos show her with her husband Jason. Athletic, they eat healthy and she’s a private contractor.

But, she knew she had to get help fast. She called a local hospital but they weren’t very helpful.

“So, I hung up with them and I called Karmanos and I was like, I started whispering on the phone it was a weird thing because I was whispering and I was like, ‘I have cancer’ and I couldn’t say it out loud.”

Cancer is a word well known to those with the helping hands program at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Every year, thousands come together for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised and more than 75-percent of those funds raised stay right here in metro Detroit to help people fighting cancer. People like Jenny Stewart.

“I know while every time I look around at everyone and knowing their money and their support went towards people like me who had no insurance, no money, it means the world.”




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