RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — At the age of 50, Patty Hager was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
“The moment I got diagnosed, I was immediately thinking the worst,” Hager said.
But she reached out to resources available to her, including other women who had faced this journey.
“It quickly calmed me down realizing there’s so much that can be done with this diagnosis and there’s so many advancements,” Hager said. “So, I got composure and then just fought with both fists.”
Fight is exactly what she did. Six years later, Hager is a breast cancer survivor.
“Every annual check I get is no evidence of disease and that’s what any cancer survivor wants to hear, no evidence of disease,” Hager said.
Hager is one of more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. today, but it’s a never-ending battle.
More than 290,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
On Sunday, the American Cancer Society will celebrate Making Strides Against Breast Cancer during a kickoff event at the Crabtree promotional court, located on the lower level of the mall in Raleigh.
The collective goal of the campaign is saving lives and ending breast cancer as we know it.
“The kickoff is the opportunity for us to come out and educate the community, inspire the community, and motivate the community to help us meet and exceed our financial goal,” said Tracey Smith with the American Cancer Society.
This year, Hager’s employer, Lenovo, will be a presenting sponsor of the event.
“When I heard about this event, I was all over it,” said Hager. “I can’t tell you how much leaning on other women who had been in my shoes helped me in this journey and I really want to pay it forward.”
The kickoff event will celebrate survivorship with a breast cancer survivor fashion show, light refreshments and a silent auction.
Attendees are asked to RSVP by Friday.
To learn more about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and how you can become involved, click here.