Cancer survivor gives back after Komen gives to her

Komen's 'Helping Hands' fund help the uninsured

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit's Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure is set for this Saturday, May 18th. Among the thousands participating, one cancer survivor who once benefited from race funds is making sure to provide the same opportunities for future cancer patients.

To come and go is the essence of living. And life on Tyler Avenue in Berkley is no exception. But when life finds a reason to slow down, Hayley Hagedorn knows it's important to catch your breath.

"I was diagnosed with uterine cancer about four years ago." said Hagedorn. And if battling uterine cancer wasn't enough, this past January, Hayley noticed a lump on her breast.

"It's scary every day." said Hagedorn, "You have your private moments where you worry."

Hagedorn was underinsured, not sure how to proceed, when the Karmanos Cancer Institute informed the 35 year old she qualified for its Helping Hands grant.

"This year, we were granted over a half a million dollars." said Helping Hands Project Director Laura Zubeck, "And we'll spend it all." Zubeck says the Helping Hands grant reaches out to about 400 patients a year.

"[These are patients] who don't have insurance, who are underinsured, who need assistance with seeing a provider, or imaging related to their breast condition." said Zubeck.

All made possible through funds from Detroit's Komen Race For The Cure.

"We live here, we race here, we save lives here." said Mo Keenan Meldrum, Chair for Detroit's Race For The Cure, "75% net of our proceeds go to local community programs based on what this community needs."

"Not having to worry about how you're going to pay for something takes the pressure off your mind." said Hagedorn, "And you get to decide to start focusing on treatment, and not on money."

Through Helping Hands, Hayley discovered her lump was benign and found her hands were now ready to give back. Hayley's race team "Comets For A Cure" has raised more than $8500 for Komen Detroit. Cancer gave Haley the chance to slow down. It's now put her on the fast track to giving back.

"And I think the thing that you worry about the most is that you won't be the same person that you were before." said Hagedorn, "And the truth is you're not. You're a better version of who you were before."

The 22nd Komwn Detroit Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure at Comerica Park is this Saturday, May 18th, from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For online registration information, head to:


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