NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Early detection and access to good care is what Marybeth Hays said helped her beat cancer not once, but twice.
“There’s a very very special group of people here in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding community that care so much for cancer patients,” Marybeth said.
In 2011 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, though it almost went undetected.
“On mammogram and on ultrasound [my cyst] didn’t image,” she said.
Her doctor felt wary about the scan and after further testing, it was determined to be cancerous.
Marybeth then underwent a double mastectomy.
Throughout her treatment, she learned so much about the resources available to those who battle the deadly diagnosis.
Marybeth said, “there are many many people as we know with healthcare in the united states today that have to make difficult choices between care and being able to put food on the table.”
While that wasn’t the case for her, she wanted to make sure that anyone who did need the extra help, could get it.
Once cancer-free, Marybeth decided to get involved with the Cancer Challenge, where she has served as a board member for the last five years.
Marybeth said, “when you give to the cancer challenge, you’re actually giving to 7 cancer organizations that we support locally.”
Since 1993, the Cancer Challenge has invested more than $13.2 million into the Northwest Arkansas community.
The non-profit direct provides financial and emotional assistance to patients and their families, as well as transportation to appointments, among other things.
“When someone has cancer it doesn’t affect just them. It affects their family, their loved ones their coworkers, it’s a difficult situation for so many,” Marybeth said.
Danyelle Musselman knows that all too well. Her maternal grandparents both died from cancer.
Danyelle’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid 50’s.
“Sheer terror is the only way that I can describe it,” Danyelle continued, “I wanted my mom to be able to continue to see me grow up and to get married and to have kids and to be able to be a grandma and all that stuff.”
Her mother has been able to see all this because she has been in remission for the last 15 years.
Much like her mother did, Danyelle’s urging men and women to take control of their health.
“Don’t miss that extra screening, don’t put yourself on the back burner and say hey, I’m going to do this next year because 4 months, 6 months, 1 year can really be the difference between life and death,” Danyelle said.
She said it’s important that everyone becomes their own advocate.
“Everyone should be able to have the best chance that they can have to beat cancer and continue to live the life that they deserve to live,” Danyelle said.
Marybeth shares these same beliefs as a two-time cancer survivor.
In 2017, she was overseas working when she noticed a lump on her neck.
Not taking any chances, she went and saw her doctor and she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had to have lymph nodes removed.
Again cancer-free, Marybeth said it’s vital people not put off their screenings.
Marybeth said, “what I want to do is somehow make it possible for more cancer patients to have that next day and to be able to focus on that care and their healing and look forward to a happier and I think a healthier life as a survivor.”
To help support better cancer care for patients, like Marybeth and Danyelle’s mother, KNWA has partnered with The Cancer Challenge to host an all-day telethon.
From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on November 9, donations will be accepted online and via call and text.
- CALL 479-273-3172
- TEXT CANCERNWA to 44321
- VISIT cancerchallenge.com
- IN PERSON at 5835 W. Sunset Avenue in Springdale
- SOCIAL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin
100% of the donations will remain in Northwest Arkansas.