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Welcome Guest Blogger Breast Cancer Survivor Kim Wright

Monday, October 3, 2011
 Meet Kim Wright...

Kim is a Komen  AIS Steering Committee Member,Survivor chair MD SGK RFTC. Be sure to stop by Kim's blog Think Simply Pink and show her some blog loving. Below is Kim's uplifting story.

Kim Wright: My Story

It was New Years Eve 1994...

I got in the shower thinking about the evening ahead. As I did my routine I felt something in my right breast near my armpit. It was not small and it was very solid. I was stunned. I couldn't believe it. I later showed my husband and we worried. Of course, being the holiday nothing could be done, so we went on with our plans.

On Monday when I got back to work (I worked in a hospital as an Embryologist), I waited anxiously for the GYN office to open and I placed the call. She fit me right in. The doctor didn't like what she was feeling so she sent me for a mammogram. I had just turned 36 so it was to be my first. She casually asked me if there was any chance I could be pregnant and I said there could be so she ordered an HCG just to be safe before the mammogram. Imagine my shock when the test indicated that I was indeed pregnant! I was excited. I just wanted to be done with the uncertainty and get on with this new and welcome pregnancy.

As the doctor performed the ultrasound, he explained that he did not like what he saw and that I would need to have a biopsy. The biopsy was scheduled as a core biopsy with ultrasound and it was scheduled for that Friday. Friday came and I went in. At this point we had told no one. The core biopsy did not go well. They also did not like what they saw and felt.

I was sent home to wait. The pathologist on call that weekend was a friend I had worked with in the main lab for years. He came in on the weekend for this reading and later realized that he was devastated at what he knew to be invasive stage II breast cancer. He begged my physician not to tell me over the phone, but wait until Monday and tell me in person. She did tell me that it would need to come out. Through all of this, my focus was the baby! Just do it and let me go on…

Monday I went to her office and my life was to be forever and profoundly changed... The doctor proceeded to explain to me that I had invasive breast cancer and it needed to come out. I was calm. I asked what came next. It was explained to me that I would need to have surgery and probably treatment. She would be sending me to a good surgeon. I asked then about the baby and she just looked at me for a minute and said I probably would not be able to continue the pregnancy. That was the point at which I lost it. I was inconsolable.

It got to a point where I was ready to do away with Fridays. I had a lumpectomy on Friday to determine if the cancer was invasive. If not, then keep the baby and have a mastectomy. If so, then go back for an axillary node dissection and a D&C. Another Friday The call came and I could hear it in his voice. The following Friday, I once again was scheduled to have surgery.

I was careful to not let my young daughter see me with out anything on my bald head. I didn't want to scare her. Here, I must tell one of my most poignant memories of that time. One night, as I was kneeling next to my daughter’s bed, she asked to see, so I took off the turban I was wearing. She looked at my head and without a word she leaned forward and pulled my head down to her and kissed the top of my head. I heard my husband sniffle behind me. Then she told me I could put the hat back on. I just laughed.

The rest, as they say, is history. I am a very active advocate. I took a scientific course made for advocates in 1996 and from there it took off. I am an advocate reviewer of grants for Susan G. Komen for the cure and other organizations and I have received a few awards. I am still an Embryologist by trade, but breast cancer advocacy is my life’s work! My now 19-year-old daughter works beside me and so does my husband. My signature on my email goes like this. "We will find a cure. Until there's a cure, there's Komen for the Cure!"

Diagnosed in early 1995, I am now a 16.5-year survivor and going strong...

I am a walking success story and I love to share that story with others. I can honestly say that breast cancer has changed the course of my life. I have met wonderful people and had many opportunities that I never would have had if it weren't for that fateful New Year's Eve of 1994.

The things that I have been privileged to be involved with and the people I have met and become friends with as a result of that fateful New Years Eve have enriched my life to the nth degree. It has culminated with me being named the Chair for the 2008,2009 Susan G Komen for the Cure Maryland Race for the Cure. Named the largest fundraiser in Maryland with over 34,000 participants last year and grossing over 3 million (75% of which stays here in Maryland to fund local initiatives).

I have spoken as part of a panel on advocacy at the Komen for the Cure mission conference and as the survivor chair for the Maryland race activities I was largely responsible for the Maryland affiliate being awarded the $10,000 dollar Ford Warrior in Pink prize in 2006. I am a wonderful example of a warrior in pink.  

At this point I am the current Survivor committee chair for the MD RFTC and a member of the Susan G Komen for the Cure Advocates in Science Steering Committee. At the same time I represent the advocate voice on the Translational Breast cancer Consortium for Johns Hopkins and the JHH SPORE also.



  1. Elizabeth said...:

    This is a very moving story, it really gets to the heart of all the terrifying things that face women who are diagnosed. I worked for the American Cancer Society for 8 yrs and each survivor I met could teach us something about appreciating our lives. Thanks for sharing this story.

  1. Beverly Diehl said...:

    Kim, thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm so sorry that cancer killed your pregnancy, but so very glad you are alive to tell the story, and to fight this horrible disease. Debra Ann, thanks for sharing Kim's story with us.

  1. pinkim said...:

    Hi there, Wow this looks great, My thanks to Debra Ann for choosing to share my story here on her lovely blog...Pinkim (Kim)

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