Survivorship: Week-long series. Monday: Meet Dorothy Woodard

Survivor turns her fear into a mission

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - WBTV News is starting a week-long series on Survivors - women either fighting or successfully beating breast cancer. Each night the story will run in our 5 p.m. news hour. Each woman sat down to talk with Anchor Molly Grantham.

Monday featured Dorothy Woodard. She kicked cancer 21 years ago and has since brought her story to all of Statesville.

"The first day when I got the news I was so crazy," Woodard said. "I started yelling at my doctor saying, 'I eat my veggies and I exercise.' I don't understand this!"

Woodard was diagnosed at the age of 50. No one else in her family ever had breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and radiation and at the time was an elementary school principal. She worked every day she had her treatments.

A few years later she turned her fear into a mission to help others, applying for a grant from Komen Charlotte to help her Chestnut Gove Community Center in Statesville. She wrote the grant well - her community got the funds to help pay for 25 mammograms for women.

"The next year we doubled it and got 50, and after that 100, and now we get 125 every year for women in our community," she said. "I am really proud of how many we're reaching."

Woodard also said she talks about her breast cancer battle so others will be encouraged to do the same.

"A lot of times people are afraid and they're ashamed that they've had breast cancer so I don't want them to feel that," she said.  "I want them to be able to talk about it and get the support they need."

Woodard is a fan of Komen Charlotte "Race for the Cure" and will be out there for the 20th anniversary next Saturday, October 1.

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