PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 27th Annual Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure is this Sunday on Mother’s Day.
Tens of thousands of people will gather at Eakins Oval and the Art Museum to help fight breast cancer.
Kathy Trow is no ordinary nurse working alongside Dr. Ari Brooks.
The two have been colleagues and friends and then one day Kathy became his patient.
“It was a very emotional interaction,” says Dr. Brooks of Penn Medicine.
Two and a half years ago Kathy was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.
“The news kept getting worse and worse,” she said of the diagnosis. “I thought I was strong before I had cancer, I was a tough person but that like brought me to my knees.”
There was surgery, radiation and chemotherapy but she says the hardest part was telling her three children.
“Probably the worst day of my life having to tell my kids that and see their reaction,” she said.
Her family became her rock.
A family photo that was taken when she wasn’t looking so sick was especially important to her.
“The thoughts are I want to get a family picture in case I’m not here,” Kathy said. “I want the kids to remember me.”
“She’s just a really, really strong individual,” said Dr. Brooks. “And as you can see she turned what was adversity in her life into just an amazing empowering thing.”
It was Dr. Brooks who did Kathy’s surgery and guided the treatments while also being the friend he’d been for years.
“I always say I’m the best person to provide that care in my family and I feel that strong about my friends as well,” he said.
Now Kathy and Dr. Brooks have another connection.
It’s Komen Philadelphia.
Dr. Brooks was among the first to receive Komen grants that help take care of underserved women.
“I love Komen I’ve been working with them for years,” he says. “They serve a vital role here in the Delaware Valley.”
“We’ve taken care of about 7,000 to 8,000 women providing the uninsured women access to screening mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies and then surgery if we diagnose a cancer,” said Dr. Brooks.
Kathy turned to Komen for comfort and with their Big Pink Footprint Initiative young survivors find support and strength with each other.
She walked in her first Race for the Cure with a bald head after losing her hair to chemo treatments.
“Team Trow, that was our first team and we walked in the race and we raised over $8,000 that year,” said Kathy.
Now she is a race co-chair and works with other breast cancer patients.
“Just seeing all these other women, empowering them just ‘look you’re not alone in this, there’s people fighting for you,'” she says she tells those patients.
The Team Trow at Penn Medicine’s Woodberry Facility is ready for race day on Sunday.
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure raises about $2 million annually for local programs and research.
You can register online until Saturday and also in person at the race on Sunday.