ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A recent cancer survivor shares her experience and how the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation helped her.
During a June vacation, Ashley Malin had noticed something was wrong.
“I was very tired, and couldn’t tolerate the heat. And then I noticed a lump,” Malin said.
She had tumors in the past, but she says they were harmless.
“When I found this one, it was different,” Malin said.
She had a gut feeling it was cancer. By July 19, she was not surprised by her diagnosis of breast cancer. But she was not sure how she would afford treatments.
“At the time that I was diagnosed, my insurance had been canceled, and I didn’t have any money because I was not able to work,” Malin said.
When it was time for her surgery, she had to pay full price for her medications.
She applied to the Susan G. Komen financial assistance, which provides $500 in funding for those diagnosed with breast cancer, and $750 for those diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
After 25 rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy surgery, Malin is now cancer-free, but it still worries her constantly.
“I think about it all the time. When’s it going to come back? How’s it going to come back? Where’s it going to come back? Even though the doctor says that it’s very unlikely and the chances are very slim,” Malin said.
Malin’s 7-year-old daughter worries about her mom and herself all the time.
“She’s not the same kid. And so, we’re going to get into some counseling, help cancer resources for the both of us,” Malin said.
Malin also said her daughter may think it’s contagious, and that she will catch it, but Malin reassures her that she had genetic testing done and it came back negative.
She explains the aftermath of her breast cancer also makes it hard to carry almost anything.
Malin is participating in the More Than Pink Walk.
She says she went years ago but this will be her first time being there as a survivor.
Staci Clinkscales, development manager for Susan G. Komen in Arkansas and Oklahoma, says this is the organization’s biggest fundraising event.
“We celebrate our survivors. We remember those that we’ve lost. And family, friends, community, coworkers all come together,” Clinkscales said.
She says the goal at Susan G. Komen is to be there for everyone who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer and try to be an advocate for them.
This year’s walk will have its opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at Rogers Pinnacle Hills Promenade, the walk begins at 9 a.m.
KNWA’s Chelsea Helms will be hosting this year’s event!