Breast cancer survivor turns tragedy to hope at Y-Me race - FOX 32 News Chicago

Breast cancer survivor turns tragedy to hope at Y-Me race

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For over 20 years, Y-Me, the national breast cancer organization, honors mother's day with the Y-Me race, a day that brings together breast cancer survivors, their friends, families and supporters.

Frankfort's Kay Witkowski, who in a span of three years lost her mother and two sisters to breast cancer,  has battled the disease herself.

She's turning tragedy into hope.

"I don't have the battle anymore. I had a double mastectomy. I did not need chemo or radiation because they took everything," Witkowski said. "So when my family insists that I stay on the banner as a survivor. To me a survivor is someone who has gone thru chemo, radiation, all that treatment and comes out on the positive side. And I claim myself to be a supporter of those fighting breast cancer and their families."

Unfortunately, Kay's battle was not the only time she had to deal with the disease. Kay lost her mother and two sisters to breast cancer. That's when she decided she wanted to help others battling breast cancer.

"When I got back from my second sister's funeral, I read about Y-Me in the newspaper," Witkowski said. "So I went down by myself to just to see what it was all about and sat on the banks and watched these women go passed with their turbines, their families, their wheelchairs, and nobody looked sad."

Kay helps organize events like Tea for You and Y-me, where women gather to express support and share their survival stories. It's all about assisting women with breast cancer and to raise breast cancer awareness.

Women in the Chicago community have battled breast cancer, people who Kay Witkowski reached out and touched and helped with their battle, are listed on a special banner. If you look closely you will notice some of the names have pink ribbon next to them and those are people who lost their battle with breast cancer.

"I am telling any woman out there who thinks they feel a lump. It's a lump. It's a spot. It's whatever," Witkowski said. "But go get it checked."

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