“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. Lisa Kurtz says:

    This was the first time I donated and it was a very good experience. You can tell the women who were working and volunteering are passionate about breast cancer and research. My prayer is that events like this will continue and that a cure or prevention will be discovered.
    Lisa Kurtz 11/6

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am here because I came as moral support for a friend, but after watching all of these wonderful woman donating, I decided to join in the fight!

  3. Vicki Schmidt says:

    I am a teacher at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. One of students, Dustin, mother lives in Arizona and has breast cancer. He shaved his head in her honor for cancer awareness month. I felt this was the least I could do for someone who cared so much for his mother.
    Vicki Schmidt

  4. Melissa Saeha says:

    My daughter has volunteered as a surgical assistant here two times now, so she asked me if I would come and donate with my mother. It is such a wonderful opportunity to help with research. My daughter is ready to start her senior year as a nursing student, so she is very excited about this research project. Having three generations here today is special.
    Melissa Saeha 8/8/09

  5. Mary Seal says:

    I was unaware of the opportunity to donate until one of my clinical preceptors told me about it. As a nurse and a woman and mother of two young women, I am hopeful for the research outcomes of this project. Prayers and good thought to all the women.
    Mary Seal 6/26/10

  6. Barbara A. Grabert says:

    Because I do not have cancer myself—it is my responsibility to do whatever I can to do what I can to help others.
    Barbara A. Grabert 6/21/08

  7. Madison Turner says:

    I’m not going to lie, I was very apprehensive about coming today. But I can’t tell you how glad I am that I came. I realized that chemotherapy would be way worse. One day I could have cancer and would encourage girls to do something like this, but how could I if ii don’t do it myself? We’re given the opportunity to be a small part of something so great and I can’t explain how awesome it feels.
    Madison Turner 1/22/11

  8. Jordan Harmon says:

    I have decided to donate today because I want to do anything I can to help. I am here volunteering today as well. I don’t have any family history of breast cancer, but as a woman, I feel the need to contribute.
    Jordan Harmon 8/8/09

  9. Sharon Sheffhauster says:

    I am here because of how blessed and lucky I am to be healthy. I have a wonderful circle of friends who are also blessed to be healthy and they are donating tissue today also. I hope that my “small” contributions helps out in a “big’ way.
    Sharon Sheffhauster 11/6/10

  10. Erica Morrical says:

    I’m giving for myself and for all the women I love and the men and families who love me. Someday, one or more of us will need for there to have been quality research. Research doesn’t get done without the participation of people like me. I read about the event and felt an urgent calling to sign up despite a lot of fear about the process and recovery.
    Erica Morrical 1/10/09

  11. Anne says:

    I’m here because I’ve known too many women and men who have had to struggle with cancer. I don’t have any extra money, but I’ve got extra breast tissue!
    Anne 8/7/10

  12. Kathy says:

    My beautiful daughter has fought breast cancer for 11 years. She’s our joy and heart of our family.
    Kathy B. 6/13/09

  13. Betty Jo Alvey says:

    Thanks to all who volunteered today—the doctors also who gave their time. I hope and pray this research helps to end this disease. I am here in memory of my daughter, my grandmother, and aunt.
    Betty Jo Alvey 6/21/08

  14. Stephanie Robers says:

    I am here because breast cancer is a disease that has greatly affected my family. My great grandmother, Fabida Espeche, died of breast cancer when her daughter (my grandmother) was only 9 years-old. 3 years ago, I watched my Aunt Ligia fight through chemo and radiation and come out stronger on the other end after battling the disease. As a latina woman, I knew that our community has a higher rate of breast cancer, and I’m here to donate tissue so one day my future daughters and granddaughters will not have to inherit this legacy.
    Stephanie Robers 8/8/09

  15. Anonymous says:

    Nosotros, Angélica, Adela y Tomasa estamos aquí para apoyar a nuestra comunidad latina y a todas las mujeres, ya que nosotros tenemos una amiga que pasó por esto pero ahora, gracias a Dios, venció al cáncer y está bien. Nosotros queremos ayudar. Gracias.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It [is the] first time that I [have been] here and [seen] all these things. First I would like to [show appreciation for] the doctors and helpers who take care of everything here. I am also grateful that I had the chance to give my time for this. I thank and pray in Jesus name that all of the research done by this foundation can result in a great success.

  17. Laritta Mason says:

    I am so grateful that my 5 daughters and 1 granddaughter have been able to this. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I would hope our experience would inspire others to donate.
    Laritta Mason

  18. Stephanie Lisher says:

    I donated right after I finished nursing my second child, so this is my “post-nursing” donation. I am so thrilled to be able to help the scientists learn any valuable insights that these donations may provide.
    Stephanie Lisher

  19. Jocelyn says:

    I am here today because I have a strong family history of breast cancer before. Before I married my husband I asked him if he would still love me with one or no boobs. I don’t my children to have the same fears.

  20. Manny says:

    My wife is donating tissue. I came along in support and assistance. My wife is at risk for breast cancer genetically and has lost some friends as well as several who have been diagnosed. For us this is the least we can do to help the cause of increasing knowledge and cure!

  21. Sarah Williams says:

    I decided to donate not because I have breast cancer story but because my father is battling advanced prostate cancer and is currently benefitting from a study drug. That experience made me realize the importance of cancer research and I want to do my part to help.
    ~Sarah Williams

  22. Lucy Himsted says:

    Don’t thank us-thank you-for what this will do for our children and grandchildren and on and on.
    ~Lucy Himstedt

  23. Judy Failer- Orentlicher says:

    With the very best wishes for successful research. May you be so successful that you put yourselves out of business!
    ~Judy Failer- Orentlicher

  24. Joyce W. Collins says:

    I find myself asking “why wouldn’t I donate?”. I’m surprised more people are not willing to donate to assist in the fight against breast cancer. They will donate time, energy and money, but when asked to donate tissue, many friends said “are you kidding?” “No way”. I am grateful for my health and so saddened by how many are fighting or have lost the battle. It really is the least I can do. And, when we find the cure, I will know that I did my part.
    ~Joyce W. Collins

  25. Anonymous says:

    I signed up with Army of Women about a year ago but didn’t meet the study criteria until this study. Shortly before I was notified that I was accepted into the study, a good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. So good to be able to help in this small way!

  26. Becky LaFlamme says:

    I do this in memory of my mother and for all the other women this may help in the future. Thank you to the doctors who allow us to help make a difference.
    Becky LaFlamme

  27. Brittney Lange says:

    I came for my momma; 2 time cancer survivor and my hero!
    Brittney Lange

  28. Darla Speer says:

    I lost my twin sister, the other half of my soul, far too soon! I want to do what I can to save other lives, other hearts.
    Darla Speer

  29. C Liniks says:

    Yes! We are blessed to participate in this research. My mother died of breast cancer just before her 30th birthday. I was 2 years old and have no memory of her. She reminds me to do the Race for the Cure. Yes, she is in my heart and mind. I have two daughters and numerous nieces.
    C Liniks

  30. Anonymous says:

    I personally don’t know anyone who had breast cancer, but if my donation can help find a cure, then if I ever meet someone who was cured I would know that I played a small role in them surviving.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I hope in a very small way to contribute towards a day when I can tell my granddaughters “There once was a disease called cancer.”

  32. Esther Calderon says:

    I am a sister to the above party. We were five sisters, now there are three; one of whom had breast cancer and is deceased. Our synagogue, Etz Chaim Sephardic congregation asked for volunteers for this procedure and I was honored to be a part of it.
    Esther Calderon

  33. Lee Mallah says:

    I volunteered for this cancer research program in honor of my two sisters who both had breast cancer. My experience here at the Simon Cancer Center has been wonderful and very fulfilling.
    Lee Mallah

  34. Sharon Profeta says:

    My synagogue asked for donors and I was so glad and honored to be a part of this today. I gave this donation today in the name of Jame S. Goldstein who lost her battle to breast cancer recently.
    Sharon Profeta

  35. Sally Bundle says:

    I am of Ashkenazi decent and have many friends who are BC survivors. I want to do all I can to wipe it out.
    Sally Bundle

  36. Pat says:

    I feel blessed to be able to do this. I am actually donating fat tissue, which is new! As an African American woman I need to do this because of the incident rate among our women. Thank you for letting me be a part of this.

  37. Michelle Jones says:

    I am donating because there are so many advancements in finding a cure for breast cancer and disease. The stats are skewed toward Caucasian women and I want to provide a perspective from an African American. We are just as affected. My experience here has been great so far. It is a beautiful place. Thank you for the opportunity to help cure breast cancer!!
    Michelle Jones

  38. Rev Karen Morrow says:

    I am here because the healthy have a responsibility for those who are afflicted. Friends of mine have died of breast cancer. I am here for them. My new male life partner lost his wife to breast cancer. Her name was Barbara. So I do it in memory of her. I also do this as an African American woman so that our health disparities can be overcome through more inclusive research.
    Rev. Karen W. Morrow

  39. Paige Moloto says:

    I am donating breast tissue for the Cure! I am a huge advocate for research partly because I love science and because I feel that the health profession can not and will not progress without donations. Also because I am a black woman I feel like it’s my duty to help find cures for other African American women like me.
    8/8/09 Paige Moloto

  40. Connie Rufenbarger says:

    Since the tissue bank began, our lives have changed so much with this journey so filled with love and hope. I used to start each day thanking God for so many blessings and asking for forgiveness for whatever I have messed up.
    Now I add, and—-Please God-Bless the Tissue