Kathy’s Breast Cancer Story with Chemotherapy and Radiation

Kathy | chemotherapy and radiation | Orange County, CaliforniaI was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer (invasive carcinoma) in August 2002, one month after the death of my father. I had surgery on September 3, 2002.

I am an assistant volleyball and head softball coach at Rowland Hall St. Marks in Salt Lake City, Utah. When my students heard the news about my diagnosis, they came to practice wearing pink ribbons with my name on them. They vowed to wear them until I was better.

With the help of my partner, family and students, I missed only 13 days of school throughout chemotherapy and radiation. I had a lumpectomy and 18 months of therapy. I think the worst day, after I got the good news as I call it, was when I lost my hair. I say that because it would have been bad news had they not discovered my tumor.

When softball season came along, my partner, players, and I decided to do something to raise money for breast cancer research. Although I was only a few days into my radiation, we went to bat against breast cancer.

In Utah we held a hit-a-thon where the girls went out and got pledges in my name to hit 100 pitches off the pitching machine. They hit and went back to collect the money. We were overjoyed when two other school teams joined us to raise $12,000 in our endeavour.

I am four and a half years out from cancer and we have continued this event every year bringing up the total of teams to 26. Since then our Swing for Life hit-a-thon has been registered by the state of Utah as a non-profit corporation. We are now state-wide and include the high school, middle school, and elementary school softball teams. In 2006 we raised $52,000 in the Swing for Life hit-a-thon, bringing the grand total to $110,100 in the four years.

I was contacted by Curt Shilling’s charity of the Boston Red Socks because he read about it online by the Desert News in Salt Lake City Utah. They want to start one in Boston.

My goal is to get this to go nationwide to raise money for breast cancer research! I truly believe that we will find a cure so no one has to go through this terrible disease. As long as I can, I will teach my kids awareness and keep this dream alive to raise money for research.

I was at the Melissa Etheridge concert at Deer Valley, Utah on the day of my diagnosis in August of 2002 and my dream would be to meet her and have her come to one of our Swing for Life hit-a-thons!

Posted: January 2007