Local Susan G Komen executive director has breast cancer

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by JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

When more than 13,000 runners set off in the Seattle rain last June for this year's Race for the Cure, local Susan G. Komen Executive Director Cheryl Shaw had no idea she was about to become a statistic.

"I'm one of the eight now," she said.

One of eight, meaning how many women will be get breast cancer in their lifetime.

Shaw received the surprise diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer two weeks ago after a routine annual mammogram.

"I was a month late this year, but I knew I had to go back and had I not had my annual mammogram, it would not have been detected this early, so the key is early detection and the only way they would have discovered this cancer is through the mammogram," she said.

Shaw, who has no family history of breast cancer, says she has received great support from the local Komen office, many of whom are breast cancer survivors. She sees her own diagnosis as a opportunity to better relate to patients and survivors.

"To understand them more fully, to really understand why they're so passionate about supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure and their families as well, because it's not only a personal self-experience, it's a family, a community experience, and so the diagnosis has helped me understand that."

Cheryl Shaw's surgery is scheduled for Monday. She says it's a highly treatable cancer.

She's optimistic and eager to get back to planning events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

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