POSTED: Friday, May 9, 2014 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 9, 2014 - 6:14pm
(KETK) - Tyler, Tx — Every year the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure lands on Mother's Day weekend here in Tyler. And this year, it holds a new meaning for one local family.
Katharina Klouda, mother of five, is no newcomer to the Komen Race. But this year, she will be running for one more woman battling this life-long disease... Herself.
"When we moved here in 1999 and started running in the Komen Race, I never dreamt that one day we would be running for me," Klouda said.
It was July 28, 2013 when Katharina Klouda was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47. Although she went in routinely for mammograms, it was in her own bed, where she discovered the lump.
"I'm a stomach sleeper and when I tucked my hand under I sort of felt something I hadn't felt before," Klouda said. "And fortunately I had an expert opinion right there next to me."
That expert opinion is her husband, Dr. Michael J. Klouda, medical director at the ETMC Breast Care Center and Katharina's biggest rock.
"It was a shock," Dr. Klouda said. "It was really ironic. Here I am a physician whose job is to find breast cancer and the vast majority of my practice is finding it on a mammogram, a screening study and here my own wife has a breast cancer that is not identified not on the mammogram, but on a self-examination that she found herself."
Finding the cancer taught the Klouda family a few things. First, that no one is immune to the disease. And second, that as a collective unit they could get through anything together.
"It definitely makes you a better physician, not just a radiologist." Dr. Klouda said. "You come full circle in that you see the way the cancer diagnosis and treatment affects the whole family."
And now, coming close to a year later, Katharina wants women to know just how important it is to get yearly mammograms starting at forty.
"Right now we can't prevent breast cancer, so the only way that we can beat it is to find it early."