31 Days of Impact – Day 1, Kimberly Cain
The story of breast cancer is the story of people. Learn about Komen’s impact and work in the fight against breast cancer as told through the eyes of breast cancer survivors, researchers, community health workers and advocates. Read more stories.
KIMBERLY CAIN, DENVER – Breast Cancer Survivor, Advocate
“In addition to my fear that I may have breast cancer, I was uninsured and knew that I could not afford proper health services.”
“With the help of Komen Denver and its grantees, I was able to fight the disease and win.”
“Today, I am cancer free, healthy, and working hard to support me and my son.”
Without Komen, I would have lost my life. When I first realized that something wasn’t right with my breast, I knew that I needed to take action. In addition to my fear that I may have breast cancer, I was uninsured and knew that I could not afford proper health services.
I was familiar with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, an organization with a mission to help end homelessness in my city, but I didn’t know that they provided lifesaving health services funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I later learned that the Komen Denver Affiliate had granted the organization more than $444,000 in community grants since 2004 – grants that help women, like me, who are unable to afford breast health services like routine breast screenings, breast health education, and mammograms.
My fear became a reality when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. But, for me, cancer was a test of my will. I was referred to the Women’s Imaging Center and St. Joseph Hospital for final diagnoses and treatment – services that were also paid for by Komen funds. With the help of Komen Denver and its grantees, I was able to fight the disease and win. Today, I am cancer-free, healthy, and working hard to support me and my son, Andale. He gives me strength every day, and when I look into his eyes, I can’t imagine what would have happened to him if I hadn’t received these lifesaving health services.
Through my battle with breast cancer – from my diagnosis to my treatment – my son and my mother, Ollie, were there to support me. With their support, and the support of Komen, I was able to overcome this disease. And I know others can too.
As a survivor, I am dedicated to spreading awareness about breast cancer in my community. I recently participated in a campaign to help raise awareness of the Komen Denver Race for the Cure. My goal was to help increase participation and raise funds – 75 percent of those funds go directly to the local community in the form of the grants like the ones that saved my life, and will continue to save the lives of women in the Denver area.
It’s important that I give back in any way that I can, and I continue to share these words of advice with others facing the disease: Never give up hope. Stay open-minded. Stay strong.
Read other impact stories here.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.