April Pink Bubble Story of the Month

Denise K. felt the weight of the world on her shoulders when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37 with three young children. Now, she commits to the 3-Day because she knew she had to do something to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. 

Can you tell us about your experience with breast cancer?  

I was 37 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had three young children under five years old at the time. I can remember walking with two of my friends at the Race for the Cure and telling them how getting breast cancer was my biggest fear. Six months later, I found a lump. I had gone for a baseline mammogram before having my third child and was told I had very cystic breasts and to come back when I was 40. Had I listened, I probably would not be here today. I can remember sitting in the doctor’ s office and looking at a brochure that said 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. There were seven other women in that waiting room that day. My life was turned upside down and if it wasn’t for the support of my family, friends and Susan G. Komen, I would not have survived. During the following nine months, I had a mastectomy with a tram flap, chemotherapy that practically killed me and six weeks of radiation.  

What advice would you give to anyone currently going through breast cancer treatment or to someone who was recently diagnosed?  

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to lean on people that love you. The most important thing is a positive attitude and a good sense of humor.  

How did you get involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day?  

I had just finished treatment and knew I needed to do something to help raise money and awareness for Susan G. Komen. My best friend Kathy lived in Atlanta and that was where I did my first 60-mile walk. That was in 1999.

How many 3-Days have you participated in?  

I completed my seventh 3-Day walk in 2022! 

What does the 3-Day and the Pink Bubble mean to you?  

EVERYTHING! I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people during the 3-Day. The Pink Bubble is family. 

What advice would you give to someone who is intimidated by the fundraising minimum?  

Don’t be afraid to post on social media and ask for donations. Everyone knows someone that has been touched by breast cancer…you just have to ask for support. 

What’s something you want the Pink Bubble to know about you?  

This year I am celebrating 24 years cancer free, and I’m excited to see old friends in Denver and of course meet new ones. I am also returning to San Diego for my third time in November. Walking 60 miles is hard, but not as hard as breast cancer. 

Just remember that nobody fights alone, and on the 3-Day, nobody walks alone! 

Do you know a 3-Day all-star who should be featured as a Pink Bubble Story of the Month? Nominate them here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PinkBubbleStory. Check out our other Pink Bubble Story of the Month features here.