Local cancer survivor now works at the place that helped her get through the diagnosis
Monday is World Cancer Day. It's a day to raise awareness and to encourage prevention, detection and treatment. According to The American Cancer Society, more than 1.7 Million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. There will also be more than 600,000 cancer deaths in this country.
Statistics show that in Ohio there will be more than 67,000 people diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and more than 25,000 cancer deaths.
Thanks to the work of researchers, health care professionals and cancer organizations the numbers are heading in the right direction.
Jackie Cummins was shocked when she heard the words you have cancer in September 2017 at the age of 49, "It was probably the most surreal moment of my life. It's like you hear it, but you don't hear it. Luckily, my husband was sitting there taking notes and listening to the doctor because I was in shock."
Jackie says there was no family history of breast cancer, "I thought I was healthy. I had my annual mammograms. I had taken good care of myself. I was probably in the best shape of my life at that point."
She went through chemotherapy, radiation and had a mastectomy, "I had my nights where I would be up late crying and worrying."
In addition to an incredible support system, Jackie says a trip to the wig bank at The Victory Center changed everything, "When I tried a wig for the first time, I started to cry. The women who were there hugged me and told me they understood. They were sympathetic and empathetic. They understand what I was going through and that make a big difference. "
Jackie now works at The Victory Center, "To be a part of their mission and to be working with all the patients and survivors really is a dream job, it's an honor. To be able to help others heal, it's a gift."
The wig bank is just part of what happens at The Victory Center. There are massages, Reike, yoga, art classes, support groups and much more. Everything is free.
Penny McCloskey is the Program Director at The Victory Center, "It's very important when you are going through your cancer journey that you do not have another bill to deal with. This way people can come in here take advantage of everything we do and not have that worry and burden. They can take care of themselves, which is the important thing, especially when they are in the middle of treatment."
The Victory Center has two locations. One in Toledo and the other at the Mercy Health Perrysburg Cancer Center. Volunteers and donations are always needed.
Just like The Victory Center, the programs of The American Cancer Society are all free. We've posted links to both organizations