Breast cancer survivor remembers sister lost to the disease


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Linda Woods’ breast cancer story is one of survival. And loss.

Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 at age 39. She had six weeks of radiation and has been in remission since.

But, her sister, Cynthia Wilkins, had a tougher fight.

“Hers was more aggressive,” Linda said.

Cynthia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1980s and was in remission for a long time, until the cancer came back in 1996.

“I was there every step of the way. We had to go to Indianapolis doctors when the cancer had spread. She was a phenomenal sister,” Linda said. “She was an outgoing person and never liked to stay home. She never let the breast cancer get to her. She was a normal person she did what she wanted to do.”

This time there was no remission. Cynthia lost her battle September 9th 2001. She was 50 years old.

Cynthia Wilkins

“I always honor my sister in the events,” Linda said.

Now – you can find Linda at Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer events all over Fort Wayne – from Pink Out at PFW to Turn the Town Pink. For Linda, seeing the community rally for a cause that changed her family forever is encouraging.

“It’s like a support group to me. They’re supporting others – even people they don’t know,” she said.

And Linda gets to keep Cynthia’s legacy alive.

“The best way to honor someone’s life is to keep living your life,” Linda said.

Research funded by the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer is helping more women survive breast cancer and detect it earlier.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Vera Bradley Foundation is turning the town pink. People can make a donation to get pink ribbons to display at their home or business.

CLICK HERE to get ribbons and learn more about Turn the Town Pink.

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