Tanner Burns is the former Specials Teams coach at Arkansas, and the current Special Teams Coordinator at Liberty. While in Fayetteville, his wife, Becca, found out she has cancer for the second time.
She recently published her book Bend Don’t Break months after celebrating her cancer-free 5 year anniversary in September of 2019.
“It was pretty amazing to know what I went through, and how positive I stayed that whole time,” Burns says as she talks about her battle with cancer.
Her story begins back in September of 2009. At the beginning of her Sophomore year of college, she started noticing something was wrong.
“I started to break out in a rash, an itching rash all over my body. I went to the health clinic and they did lab work. They started checking my blood once a week for 6 weeks.”
It was her parents who delivered the news that would change her life.
“My mom and dad opened up my front door of my house, and I was looking straight at them and asked them, ‘what are you guys doing here?’ I knew instantly something was wrong, and then they told me ‘Rebecca you have cancer. You have Leukemia.'”
After three rounds of chemotherapy and endless support from her family and friends, on May 10, 2010, she was cancer free.
In 2014 she moved to Fayetteville, AR when Tanner, her boyfriend at the time, got a job with the Razorback Football team. Burns took a job with the Athletics Department. After a short vacation, she went back to work not feeling herself. She was about to fight the same battle all over again.
“I went to the health center during lunch, and that is when they drew my labs and my white count was non-existent. When my white count was non-existent I knew I had cancer,” she remembers.
Her friends in Fayetteville rallied around her, supporting her during round two.
“I will forever love Arkansas and so will Tanner because of how supportive the community of Fayetteville and the athletic department and people on campus were,” says Burns, “They threw me a bone marrow match, to find me a match, and they had several people come sign up to try and be the match because I had to have a transplant.”
Once again, Burns kicked cancer to the curb. In October of 2015 she decided to write her journey down on paper.
“I started a year later, and so whenever I started writing it was really hard because I went back into that emotion of what it felt like during that time.”
Bend Don’t Break is now available to buy on Amazon. The title one Burns says was easy to come up with.
“Whenever I was sick I always said I was like a palm tree, so a palm tree I said will bend to the ground and it never will break.”
Now she’s hoping her book will inspire others, no matter what they are going through.
“How to find a positive out of a negative is what I want them to find,” she says.
To order her book follow the link below: