Real People, Real Stories

Breast cancer survivor

Donna Lewis

I was diagnosed with an aggressive 6 cm tumor in my left breast. Because my mother died at age 50 from cancer, and I was 45 at the time I was diagnosed, I felt terrified that “history would repeat itself” and that I would not be here for my husband and children. I had known about CanCare because my husband and I both went to high school with Nancy Tucker and we were friends, so I knew about the work she was doing for the organization. Nancy called me before I could call her to offer a volunteer! CanCare opened the door to a positive and hopeful viewpoint about my diagnosis and future.

My volunteer and Nancy followed me through my year of treatment and then I knew that I had to become a volunteer and try to help other women. I have had the pleasure of helping nine women directly through the volunteer program, and I have also met many wonderful people through health fairs and speaking engagements. It makes your own experience even more valuable when you are able to learn from it and share what you have learned by guiding others through the ups and downs of cancer.

I celebrate all of the different types of people that make up our “community of hope” which we join when we are diagnosed with cancer. It is a club we do not ask to join, but if we allow the lessons to come through the experience, I think we each learn more about ourselves and the gift of life that we are so vigorously fighting to preserve. I never would have met some of my best friends if I had not had cancer!

CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990.  All services are confidential and free of charge.  To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.