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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The mission for the upcoming Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure this Mother’s Day is finding a cure for the breast cancer.
This year, a new team will join the race. It features best friends fighting breast cancer together.
Dawn Penner and Jennifer Simmons have shared every milestone together, since they were little girls.
Jen said, “It was easy, it was always easy. We always,” and Dawn finished her sentence saying, “Just hung out.”
After years of celebrating happy occasions, these 42-year old best friends are now plotting to save Dawn’s life. In July, Dawn was diagnosed with a deadly form of breast cancer. She says, “It was horrifying, horrible, just scary.”
One of her first calls was to Jen who’s a breast surgeon with Aria Health Frankford. “It was just wonderful to be able to say, ‘Okay she’s going to take care of me,’” Dawn said. Jen added, “The overwhelming thought in my head was that no one is going to take care of her the way I’m going to take care of her.”
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Dawn’s cancer had already spread to her bone. Jen wanted to be super aggressive with chemotherapy and radiation. Then Jen, Dr. Simmons would be performing the bi-lateral mastectomy on her best friend. “That was a high pressure day for me” said Jen.
“I’d say that probably wasn’t the best day,” said Dawn. And Jen said, “I cried for a minute when you first went to sleep in the operating room. I cried and then I got myself together and knew I had a job to do that day.”
The surgery was a success, and now Dawn is focusing on the Race for the Cure and the team she put together called Breast in Show.
“It just took off. I’ve raised so much money. I’m so proud of that,” said Dawn. The money she’s raising is going to help other breast cancer patients like Dawn, who’s the mother of two daughters. She is determined to be around to watch them grow up and share more milestones together with her best friend forever, Jen.
Dawn has now raised over ten thousand dollars and has about 50 people joining her team, Breast in Show, this Sunday.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3