Not alone: Deborah Burke

Not alone: Deborah Burke
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Leading up to the Relay For Life event on June 7th, KEPR Action News will introduce you to different people in the community, impacted by cancer. They may be your neighbor, babysitter, co-worker, but they each have a unique story to share.

This is Deborah's Burke’s story.

“We knew it was only a matter of time before the tests might change," said Deborah Burke. It's safe to say most everyone has been touched by cancer in some way; and for Deborah Burke, it's safe to say cancer has quite literally attacked her.

“All the women on both sides of my family had passed away from breast cancer at a relatively early age," she explained. Like many that are now coming forward, Burke had the scans and took the test. "I had the BRCA and it came back negative." The same scan that Angelina Jolie swears by, didn't detect what Burke would find herself.

At first, the diagnosis has a feeling of unreality, it's like it’s happening to another person," she said. Like her mother, grandmother and aunts before her, Deborah found breast cancer.

“I had a partial mastectomy and I am following it up with radiation," she said. That’s where KEPR met Burke, at her radiation appointment. It’s a place she says where women and men rally seeking treatment for the body, and finding healing for their souls.

“It's amazing the bravery and camaraderie in this clinic, I've never felt so supported," she said.

Burke's prognosis is good; she says she’ll be 98% clear after radiation. It’s an outlook her mother never had and a lesson she hopes you'll take to heart.

“Don’t bury your head in the sand…love yourself enough to get the tested,” she said.