One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. That means that nearly everyone has someone in their lives who has been impacted by the disease. Without exception, everyone has someone they would move mountains to protect from breast cancer’s deadly grip. Who is the one person in your life that you would do anything in the world to protect from this deadly disease? For Donny Coursey, it’s his wife, Cathy.
Susan G. Komen recently sat down with Donny and Cathy to learn about how their love is stronger than breast cancer. Here is what they had to say.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your breast cancer diagnosis?
Answer: [Cathy] – I was diagnosed in May of 2013, but the story I kind of like to begin with … started in 2011. I was watching my best friend Emily. She was posting on Facebook. She was walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. And, just something inside of me, I can’t explain what it was, I told her: “I want to walk this with you next year.” And so, in 2012 I walked with her and just all along just learning about Susan G. Komen… kind of really made me more aware of taking care of myself even more and I had just turned 40, so I said, “you know what? I need to go in and get my baseline mammogram done.”
Q: What happened after you were diagnosed?
A: I was just terrified and I was alone. I got out and called [Donny] on the phone and said, “Babe, it’s not good news.”
Q: Donny, what was going through your mind at that point?
A: [Donny] – I was teaching class, high school, and I get a call, I knew she was going back to get re-scanned and tested and I could tell from the sound of her voice that it didn’t look good … it was pretty shocking and humbling. I always sort of had the attitude of “all that stuff doesn’t happen to us,” but, it can happen to anybody … It was just very devastating.
Q: How aggressive was your breast cancer, Cathy?
A: They told me that my cancer was growing at a rate of 25 percent. Most breast cancers are growing at a rate between 5 and 15 percent. And that in a matter of few months, my story would have been a whole lot different. I wouldn’t be here today telling it.
Watch the full interview with Donny and Cathy here: