Meet Jo Ann & Trish

Jo Ann & Trish

Jo Ann was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 1999.  She and her doctor decide to proceed with a lumpectomy and follow up with 33 radiation treatments over 6 weeks.   Jo Ann thought she was the first in her family to be impacted by breast cancer, but after her diagnosis she found out that this was not true.  No one talked about the “C” word.

When JoAnn looks back on it, she feels so blessed.  Before her cancer diagnosis, she used to have sympathy for others, but after going through it she has empathy.   Whenever she meets someone going through breast cancer, she stops and asks if she can give them a hug.    Jo Ann believes there comes a time in life experiences that we must be willing to love sacrificially.  Be willing to get out of our comfort zone to help someone else. 

When you talk to Jo Ann today, she said that time flies and her diagnosis and treatment seem so long ago.   She retired from TVA in 2003 and is the Associate Pastor at Mount Calvary. 

Patricia or “Trish” went in for her annual mammogram as usual in 2013.   When she was done, the tech mentioned that they saw a very small spot, but it probably was nothing. They wanted scheduled her back in for an ultrasound as a precaution.   Again the tech reassured Trish that it probably was nothing and that they were amazed that the mammogram picked up the spot that was so small.  She was then scheduled for a needle biopsy on the meniscal area.  Breast cancer does not run in her family and everyone said it was so small, it probably was nothing.  It was breast cancer!

 Trish was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, or IBC, which is a rare and very invasive type of cancer.   Since it was caught so early, she was given the choice of lumpectomy or mastectomy with 33 radiation treatments.  She chose lumpectomy and radiation.   She said that waiting and getting that phone call is hard, but she considers herself mighty lucky.   If they had not found this meniscal tumor when they did, who knows what her diagnosis would have been in another year.   When they did the lumpectomy they also tested the tumor to predict the possibility of reoccurrence after 10 years and it showed on 7% chance.

Both Jo Ann and Trish will tell you that EARLY DETECTION saved both of their lives.  Komen agrees! Early detection is the best protection until we find the cures for breast cancer!  So, have you had your annual mammogram? Have you talked to your doctor about your risk and know when you should begin getting your mammograms?

Register today and start fundraising to help un-insured and under-insured women and men in our community continue to have access their annual mammogram and other testing that is so important to save lives.

Join us October 19, 2019 for Knoxville Race for the Cure