East Texan shares her story of survival, and importance of Race - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texan shares her story of survival, and importance of Race for the Cure


On Saturday, thousands of breast cancer survivors and their supporters will take on the 16th annual Komen Tyler Race for the Cure. The race starts Saturday morning at Bergfeld Park in Tyler.

One survivor shared her story and explained the message behind Saturday’s race.

Billie Oden says she's the first to tell anyone they should never skip a mammogram. She discovered she had breast cancer during a routine mammogram, but her experience has been unique. Billie’s oldest daughter found out she had breast cancer while Billie was going through her treatment. Then, this past year, her middle daughter found a lump and was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

Other than herself, Billie says there's no history of breast cancer in her family.

“It’s been quite a challenge for me personally, as a nurse and as a mom. I would have taken every bit of it for them not to have to go through this. It's been so difficult to see your child go through this,” said Billie.

Now, Billie says she takes every opportunity to let others know about the risk of breast cancer.

Billie stressed, “One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer, so you have to be diligent about your mammograms. Don't put it off. Don't think something else is more important than that because I promise you nothing is more important than that.”

She says everyone should be aware of breast cancer so we can do something to find a cure.

“What we'd like to do in our lifetime is to not have all the pink ribbons everywhere. When you see pink to just think it's a pretty color and not think of breast cancer,” said Billie.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from the race will stay right here in Smith County for screening, education and awareness. The other twenty five percent goes directly to the Komen headquarters research program.

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