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Editor's Note: This is the second installment in a six part series where we introduce you to Charlotte breast cancer survivors as we count down to the annual Komen Race For The Cure on Oct. 6th.
For the next week, WBTV is going to bring you stories of women in our community fighting back against breast cancer.
Thursday night, we're introducing you to 46-year-Bernadette Simpson.
Bernadette found her own lump Christmas Eve 2008. Because her older sister, mother and grandmother had all gone through breast cancer battles, she thought she'd get it checked out.
But really, she says, she didn't think much of it. So she was floored when the doctor called her back with the bad news.
"I was looking for jobs online when they called," she told Anchor Molly Grantham. "I was unemployed at the time. Then the phone rang. They called and said "I had cancer". And the doctor's office started rolling into here's what you need to do and who you need to call and I went into Whoa, wait a minute. I was shocked when they called me."
Because she was unemployed at the time, Komen Charlotte paid for her mammogram and her biopsy. Turns out it was Stage II. She had to go through cancer and radiation and lost her hair during the process.
"Thank goodness for Komen," she says. "I had no insurance. I had no idea what to do. I am very grateful for the organization."
To give back now, Bernadette fundraises for Race for the Cure. Her daughter, now 9, walks with her every year.
"It is so much fun, first of all. Race morning is uplifting thing too, to see. It's not a depressing thing, and the first year I thought it would be. But with the survivors and families and things and everyone showing up – some guys even wear pink tutu's and dresses – it's a really fun event for me now."
If you want to join Bernadette and be there October 6th, register now! We invite you to be a part of WBTV's crew. We have two teams – morning anchor John Carter is captain of "Team John" and evening anchor Molly Grantham is captain of "Team Molly". It's a $30 tax-deductible donation and in return you get two t-shirts (one Komen and one WBTV). To register, click the team link below.