Lisa McKinney, 47, of Macon, was among more than 1,600 people who came out for the Susan G. Komen Central Georgia 16th annual Race for the Cure in Macon on Saturday.
McKinney is a two-year cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2013.
“The significant part of that story was I held my mammogram order in my purse for about seven months,” McKinney said after running in the race. “So, do not do that.
“You want to get your mammogram as soon as you get the order so you know and you can catch it early.” she said.
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McKinney went through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and finished her treatment in July 2014.
She has been cancer free for 1 1/2 years.
When she was first diagnosed, McKinney said she had a choice.
“I can either lay down, or I can fight,” said McKinney, who works for an insurance company. “I chose to fight.
“I went to the gym every day, I went to work every day, and I had a lot love and support.”
Her greatest fear when first diagnosed was that the cancer had spread. But she was fortunate. It had not.
She also lost her long blond hair during chemotherapy.
“They say it’s really difficult for women, and it is,” McKinney said with a laugh.
But her hair grew back. She had it pulled into a ponytail for the race.
The annual 5k run-walk was held this year at Mercer University.
In all, an estimated 1,600 to 1,700 runners, walkers, volunteers and other supporters took part in the event, said Jill Vanderhoek, executive director for Susan G. Komen Central Georgia.
So far through registrations, corporate sponsors and fundraising, the event has generated an estimated $150,000, Vanderhoek said.
Fundraising continues through October, with the total fundraising goal set at $200,000, she said.
October is breast cancer awareness month.
“The Komen does a lot of things for people who are less fortunate or do not have the money to get the treatment they need or the mammograms, so they fund a lot of those programs and they provide money for research,” McKinney noted. “Some of the medicine I received that saved my life was through some of the research through Susan Komen.”
Her husband, Kent McKinney, and their sons, 14-year-old Bradley McKinney and 17-year-old Bennett McKinney, along with family friends, joined her in the race.
“Just very thankful for Susan G. Komen and thankful for the racing family that is here with us today and so many friends that are coming out for this race and this occasion,” Kent McKinney said. “It really helps, and you can see all the people walking by behind us.
“It means so much to them, and this lady means so much to us,” he said as he squeezed his wife’s shoulder.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559, or find her on Twitter @becpurser.