SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As we continue to highlight the American Cancer Society’s Portraits of Hope, this week we’re introduced to Kristen Coomer, who was diagnosed with a very rare form of breast cancer.
“I’m going to lose it this year,” Coomer said, already emotional about the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk set for Oct. 19.
It’s actually what she lost last year that inspired this journey.
“He was never dwelling on the fact that I was going to get a mastectomy,” Kristen said about her husband. “He was supportive of it. He didn’t want the cancer to come back.”
Through the tears, bring up Coomer’s husband, and you’ll get a smile.
“So my husband is amazing,” Coomer said. “I mostly coupon and hang out with him”
Coomer’s diagnosis at first was just dense tissue.
“I did second guess it, but I just never took the time to find a second opinion,” she said. “I was like, oh well he’s my doctor, of course he knows what I need.”
When her doctor moved and she got a new one, Coomer pushed for more testing. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in Aug. 2018, had a double mastectomy in October, and shortly after, was deemed cancer-free.
“Speak up if your doctor ignores you,” Coomer advises others. “Either get a second opinion or push for it and be like, ‘No I want an ultrasound. I want to make sure I’m okay.’ Because sometimes you have to be your own advocate.”
This year, Coomer will walk.
“I’m really proud of being a survivor,” she said.
She’ll walk step by step, side by side, with the one who carried her. She’ll walk alongside KOLR10, and hopefully if you’ll join us, she’ll walk alongside you too.
The Making Strides walk takes place at Hammons Field Plaza on Oct. 19 in Springfield. Daybreak Anchor Lauren Barnas and Meteorologist Elisa Raffa will emcee the event. You can join the KOLR10 team here.