CHAMPAIGN – During Breast Cancer Awareness cancer month, we're reminded about all the people affected by the illness. Doctors expect to diagnose more than 200,000 new cases this year alone. But we see many inspiring people in our community fighting back. Jillian Deam introduces us to a local survivor who says cancer research helped save her life.
Lynn Mikaovich is the type of person who knows how to make things happen.
"I'm pretty much a let's do it, get it done now type of person.”
She brings a can-do spirit to her volunteer work—the same attitude she brought as an educator.
“I’m a retired teacher with Unit 4 and I do a lot of volunteering back in the schools.”
So it's really no surprise—Lynn took the same approach towards fighting her breast cancer.
“Basically my reaction was, what do we do next and how do we fight this."
Lynn didn't hesitate after finding the lump 7 years ago.
chemo and the radiation.”
Lynn worked through her treatments while teaching at Dr. Howard Elementary.
“I let the kids know what I was going through and I think it was an eye-opening experience for them to see someone go though cancer, survive it, see their hair come back.”
A valuable lesson for her students—that taught Lynn a lot too.
“Being a cancer survivor makes you more aware of how precious life is... when you fight a life threatening illness."
Lynn is cancer-free today. Now she spends her time volunteering with the American Cancer Society.
“I wanted to give back to other cancer patients."
"We raise money for research, and research dollars saved my life. It was a new drug at the time called Herceptin, and I've been told and have read that if it wasn't for that new drug, I wouldn't be here today."
The American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event takes place Saturday, October 19 at Crystal Lake Park in Urbana.
There will also be a special survivor tent with activities. It’s all free and area breast cancer survivors are invited.