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Breast Cancer Survivor Says Yearly Mammogram Saved Her Life

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Sunday is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. All week long, we've been introducing you to some of the people who are participating in the event, and today is no exception. Jeanne Rand will be there for the second time, but now she'll be attending as a brave survivor.

It was Mother's Day 2010 and Jeanne Rand was just one of thousands walking in the race for the cure. She says, "I did it in honor of my hair dresser who had breast cancer and I wanted to show support for her."

Jeanne remembers that day well. She says, "You see an ocean of pink t-shirts, survivor t-shirts, but some of them are not all survivors. some of them are in remembrance of those who did not survive and we can't forget those dear souls."

Little did Jeanne know that day that years later she'd return to the Race for the Cure, this time as a breast cancer survivor.

According to Jeanne, "A few days before Thanksgiving I was told that my biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. I was so shocked Jim. I could not believe my ears because breast cancer does not run in my family and I figured o.k. this is just a couple of cysts, big deal but I was wrong.

Jeanne says that at first her mind went to a dark place. She says, "Thinking of the worst case scenarios and it's the fear of the unknown basically. But once we got the ball rolling the day of my surgery I just knew things were going to be ok."

Jeanne credits her husband Don, her friend Sarah and what she calls her 'team', "Dr. Moore, my surgeon, Dr. Herbert, my radiologist and Dr. Scarpaci, my oncologist and all of the nurses."

After going through a lumpectomy and 20 radiation treatments, Jeanne has a message to share. She says, "The message is, try to stay positive, don't let you mind go to that dark, negative place."

As for this year's Race for the Cure, Jeanne says, "Now I'm doing it for me and thousands of others, I'm so excited, I can't wait."

Jeanne wants to remind everyone not to skip a yearly mammogram. With no history of breast cancer in her family, learning the results of that mammogram is what saved her life.

You too can come out this Sunday and join with Jeanne and others as part of this incredible day on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Rahel, Katie, Meisha and I will be there along with Ukee Washington and Jessica Dean plus the entire CBS 3 and CBS Radio family as we "Race for a Cure" in Philadelphia. There's still time to register and donate at:

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