Each year the Derby Divas committee selects an honoree who is a breast cancer survivor who has received treatment at Norton Cancer Institute. This year Ms. Marek was unanimously selected for this honor.
Ahead of the event, we met with Ms. Marek, and asked her a little more about her experience and what this honor means to her.
What does it mean to be honored at Derby Divas?
It’s a huge honor to be a Derby Diva honoree. It means I have experienced breast cancer and I am now a survivor. It means I have a message to share with the community and that is—
Women, take care of your whole health and screen as early as you can. I am also honored to have been selected to be a part of such a wonderful organization that fundraises and provides support to all local women so they can receive mammograms and female health screening services.
What do you look forward to at the event?
I am looking forward to telling my story as a way to educate and motivate women on the importance of overall breast health through monthly self-checks, yearly mammograms, and to always listen to their inner voice. If you feel as if something isn't quite right, don't be afraid to go and get it checked out. Only you will take care of you!
What encouragement would you give someone who is still fighting breast cancer?
I would encourage all women fighting breast cancer to remember that they do not have to walk this road alone. Lean on your friends, family, co-workers, local organizations (such as "Friends for Life") when you need support. Don't be afraid or too proud to ask for help.
When you're diagnosed with breast cancer, you go into "Go Mode." It's like running a race. Each day, you're getting closer and closer to that finish line. I was so fortunate to have many support systems which helped me to stay positive throughout my journey. Having excellent care at Norton Cancer Center helped to ease my fear of the unknown. From the moment of my diagnosis—to this day—the doctors, nurses, medical staff, and in-house services have taken the reins. Showing up is all I have/had to do. Having a super supportive family, friends, KCD co-workers, and students who made sure to check in, give me a hug, or just ask how my day was going kept me focused and feeling the love. I couldn't have stayed positive without them!
To learn more about Derby Divas, or purchase a ticket to attend, click here!