Breast Cancer Survivor Of 45 Years Says She’s Lost A Lot But Not Her Faith

The tradition continues, but with a few changes.

Survivors, fighters and supporters decorated cars and paraded Saturday through Tulsa for the Susan G. Komen Oklahoma Race for the Cure.

Thousands of runners usually gather at the start line to run the race, but due to the pandemic, Susan G. Komen Oklahoma went virtual and added a Survivor Car Parade.

Participants decorated their cars and drove from Victory Church to the River Spirit Casino. 

Sharon Sixkiller was 32, happily married and working when she felt a lump in her right breast. 

"You're not going to believe this,” Sixkiller said. “At 4 in the afternoon, my phone at the office started ringing and it was them telling me that I needed to have a biopsy." 

Sixkiller said Tulsa had just received its first mammogram machine when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She learned she would need a double mastectomy to save her life while also 13 weeks pregnant.

“The way they cut me, I never could go through the reconstruction, so I've just had to wear [prosthetics] all my life,” Sixkiller said. 

Susan G. Komen Oklahoma CEO Abbi Lee said this year's Race for the Cure looked different but still celebrated survivors like Sixkiller who's never missed a race. 

"Survivors showing up today is proof that we are here standing by their side through this very difficult time,” Lee said.

They are standing by their side, just six feet apart. Lee said dozens of cars paraded through Tulsa this year’s Race for the Cure while other Oklahomans took part in the virtual race, running from where they were.

Shayna Taylor and her team won first place for best car decorations. 

"Whenever I wanted to come up with a team, I wanted something to go with the pandemic, so I played around with some names and finally settled on ‘The Quarantatas,’” Taylor said. 

Lee said battling breast cancer can be an isolating experience. Now, men and women are having to sit through screenings and diagnoses alone during the pandemic. Other patients are even postponing mammograms. 

"We know that there could be up to thousands of women who might be affected by this, who might get a late stage diagnosis,” Lee said. 

"Did chemo until May, finished up in May. Double mastectomy in June,” Taylor said. “Radiation in August and September, and now I'm just finishing up with Xeloda." 

Lisa Reichert is a three-year survivor and said that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

"There's so much good that comes with it that it outweighs the bad, you know, 10 times over,” Reichert said. "You'll be a part of a sistership that is a million members strong." 

Sixkiller is a part of that breast cancer sisterhood and lost her brother and husband to different types of cancer. She said she still has her daughter, Shannon Faith, who fought with her every step of the way. 

"You'd be surprised at how well you will survive it if you just have faith,” Sixkiller said. 

For more information about Susan G. Komen Oklahoma, click here