“I first donated my tissue in 2007 after seeing the collection event in the paper. I thought this would be a way for me to help. Little did I know that three years later I would be here for myself. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 4/15/10. Two days later I began my fight by walking the Race for the Cure. Today I am here for you!”
— Traci Runge

The KTB Living Journal

Tell your stories and experiences by writing in our online Living Journal. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected to tissue donors, volunteers, supporters and staff. We are a strong, united community that thinks, shares and understands breast cancer; Komen Tissue Bank wants to hear from you as we continue to fight this disease together.

Please leave your comments below. Your journal entry should appear on this page within 24 hours of submitting.

68 Responses to “Living Journal Home”

  1. McKenzie Rogers says:

    I donated this afternoon at IU medical center. It was a breeze. I don’t know anyone directly who has suffered from breast cancer, but hopefully my tissue donation will help those in the future. When I was 16 I noticed a lump and was very scared. I had to have it removed. The following year I had the same issue with the other breast. Both times the results came back benign, but having the issue at such a young age was frightening. Ladies, it’s important to do your self checks!!

  2. Sue says:

    I am excited to welcome and thank all the women today, September 21, 2013 who have come to donate for research; this is an event that I try not to miss. My “girls” have donated but now it’s a mission to volunteer for this cause; I do in memory of a friend who lost her life at the age of 35 to breast cancer. To my friend Sandi, research, research, research just like you told me!

  3. Maria says:

    Tissue donation is one of the most powerful ways to get involved and help /support the tissue bank. Reading the stories has moved me, i wish all the donors peace and good health.

  4. Debbie Conway says:

    I was so thrilled to be allowed to donate my healthy breast tissue at IU Cancer Center on Nov. 3, 2012. I am a one-year breast cancer survivor and have been the beneficiary of IU’s wonderful medical care. If my small donation can be the reason my granddaughter never has to fear breast cancer in her lifetime it was well work the minor time out of my morning. God Bless all the doctors, volunteers and researchers at IU!!!

  5. Darrell Skaggs says:

    I am a male breast cancer survivor.I know how important research is and I hope one day soon we will find a cure for this awful disease. I am an ambassador for Susan G. Komen and also a Model of Courage for Ford Motor Company’s Warriors in Pink program. I had the opportunity to be part of the documemtary “Bang the Drum” with Warriors in Pink this year. Please listen to my story and 10 other survivor’s stories at: http://www.fordcares.com
    Also the Warriors in Pink apparel is nice and 100% of the net proceeds can be given directly to Susan G. Komen.

  6. Andrea Thayer says:

    What a wonderful experience donating breast tissue. One never knows the future for each of us that donated. Such a little thing to give. Have had 5 friends with this disease & one (the youngest) that lost her battle after a 6 year fight. Your staff was so supportive as was Chris & the Lansing St Journal for organizing this event. Thank you so much
    Andrea Thayer

  7. Breast cancer has already claimed a few of my loved ones. I will do anything to help others fight this dreaded disease.

  8. Karen Bourbeau says:

    When my husband’s sister was diagnosed I joined The Army of Women hoping to qualify for a study, in her honor as well as a cousin on one side of my family and an aunt on the other side. I found out about a study I qualified for, but it required travel. When my brother found out he had metastatic lung caner, that convinced me to make the trip to Louisville Kentucky to donate tissue and blood for the shift work study. It was a way to stand up to all forms of cancer and say NO MORE!

  9. Anita Wilhelm says:

    I was only able to donate blood since I am a bilateral mastectomy individual, I think this such an important program and it is so wonderful to see how many other people believe in it also. I have several frienda that are tissue donors.

  10. Just donated blood and tissue – much to my surprise, it was painless! Intense, but painless. I was so impressed by how friendly and appreciative the staff and volunteers were. I’m so glad I donated today!

  11. Diana Gaskin says:

    I donated tissue and blood on Jan 29, it was my first time and it was amazing. I plan on donating again. Everyone was so kind and gentle. This is a cause I am passionate about and was glad to be able to help.

  12. I had the opportunity to donate and volunteer at the Komen Tissue Bank’s Super Cure Event today. The procedure really didn’t hurt. I encourage you ladies to donate health tissue to give researchers the keys to unlocking breast cancer before it kills someone else we love.

    I had the joy of meeting one of my late mother-in-law’s nurses, Vivian. When she said that she worked for Dr. Sledge, I asked if she remembered Peg Lawrance. She said, “Is she the lady from northern IN?” “Yes.” A look of pain in her eyes, “We threw everything at that cancer and nothing worked. She thought she was cured and then Dr. Sledge found more in her lymph nodes.” All the emotions of a year ago January 25 (and the 18 months prior to that) came flooding back. I miss you Mom!!

  13. Breast cancer research became important to me many years ago. I never knew my maternal grandmother as she died when my mom was 9 yrs old; mom being 4th of 5 daughters, with 1 of sisters having breast cancer later in life. I have 3 grown daughters & started working with the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer after promoting it thru Pampered Chef’s Pink Help Whip Cancer campaign. I have a close friend in her 30′s, who is fighting stage 4 at this time (her 2nd round of breast cancer in 10 yrs; she has 2 young children). Seeing & hearing Traci’s story has made it even more important to work together to find a cure in my daughters life time, so that no mother, daughter, sister, aunt or grandmother will ever have to hear the words – you have breast cancer! Thanks to all who are going thru this process. B >:0)

  14. Elizabeth Van Noy says:

    I am thrilled that I was able to schedule an appointment to donate on January 28th. I am also volunteering on that date and was able to get an appointment after my work shift. I am a six year breast cancer survivor and want to give back as I have been given so much with excellant treatment, great support, and was able to continue with all my activites while being treated. I have six granddaughters and am donating for each of them. One of my granddaughters(age 7 at the time of my diagnosis) asked if she was at risk for breast cancer when I was diagnosed and I assured her that a CURE would be found.

  15. Margaret Bauer says:

    I have two reasons for donating today. First is that I am so grateful, as I’ve watched two friends battle breast cancer, I am so far eligible to donate normal tissue. Second is that I have frequently used tissue from volunteers in my own research and understand the importance of such donations. This is thanks to all who have donated for my own research.
    Margaret Bauer 1/10/09

  16. Anonymous says:

    My aunt had the idea for my grandma, my four aunts, my mom, and me to donate. I volunteered without hesitation. While our family has not been affected by breast cancer, we all have friends who have. I was honored to do this Thanks to all the volunteers. They were wonderful.

  17. Kelly Ulm says:

    If I can help one woman against the battle of breast cancer what an honor that is. This is for all that have gone before us.
    Kelly Ulm 9/20/08

  18. Anonymous says:

    My mother died of breast cancer at age 50 when I was 19. My sister, Carol Rogers, had breast cancer twice and her daughter, Sarah Rogers McClure, is presently battling breast cancer the second time. I’m here for future generations. I have three daughters and a granddaughter. We will conquer this disease.
    Editor’s note: Sarah Rogers McClure passed away on December 26, 2010.

  19. Stacy Gass says:

    I received an email from the Vera Bradley Foundation, requesting tissue donors. I lost my grandmother to breast cancer and knew immediately this was what I needed to do to help prevent breast cancer in the future. I know today that she will be sitting next to me as I donate. I miss her all the time.
    Stacy Gass

  20. Traci Runge says:

    This is my second donation. I first donated my tissue in 2007 after seeing it in the paper. I also as coaching cheerleading and one o my cheerleaders mothers had (Carrie Fogleman) breast cancer. I thought this would be a way for me to help. Little did I know that 3 yrs later I would be here for myself. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 4/15/10. 2 days later I began my fight with the walking/Race for the Cure. Today I am here for you!

    Carrie Folgeman lost her life a year ago. She was a mother to 4 children!

    Traci Runge

  21. Chris Baker says:

    “For TC” I came all the way from Kansa City because I promised my sister, TC, night before she died (11/07) that I would never stop fighting for her and everyone else who has battled. I am so proud to be a part of this program~Thank you IU Simon Cancer Center
    Chris Baker

  22. Pat Clark says:

    Donor #1000! What I thought would be an uneventful, long-overdue donation turned into quite a celebration. The excitement of all the volunteers and researchers and doctors made me realize how important every donation is to them. I am honored to be the 1000th donor, but more honored to be one of the many more who hope to someday find an answer. So here’s to all of the women and men who have had breast cancer, to all who have cared for them and to all who work to end the disease!
    Pat Clark

  23. Rita Baker says:

    My hope is for a cure, of course. After losing my best friend and sister to breast cancer eight years ago, I would willingly do anything to help another family not to go through what our family did. Her children thank each one of you.
    Rita Baker

  24. Nashia-Abdul-Aleem says:

    I am donating today because I have lost friends and family to breast cancer. I am also a kidney cancer survivor. Being an African American woman and knowing that we have a higher mortality rate, I feel the need to do something. I have two daughters who I hope never have to worry about breast cancer.

  25. Leah Wilcox says:

    Today I am donating for a few reasons. One, my aunt is a breast cancer survivor. Two, I work for the Army of Women Initiative at the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, which has a goal of recruiting one million women who agree to receive emails from us about breast cancer research studies. We need to do more prevention/cause research and I want to do what I can to help!
    Leah Wilcox, Los Angeles

  26. Emily Weikert Bryant says:

    I was made aware of the opportunity to donate through my membership in the Zeta Tau Alpha Indy Alumnac Association. I’m here because this is the first time I’ve felt useful to my sister-in-law, a one year survivor of breast cancer. I’m here for her.
    Emily Weikert Bryant 6/26/10

  27. Megan Carter says:

    I am here with my sorority sisters and friends to do my part in the fight against breast cancer! I am honored to be among these amazing women and to be able to part in such a wonderful event!
    Megan Carter 10/26/10

  28. Anonymous says:

    I’m donating today because of my positive BRCA 1/2, for my sister and grandmother whom have already had breast cancer, and for the research. A thank you to Dr. Anna Marie Storniolo, whom told me about this today.