Denison Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Story - - No One Gets You Closer

Denison Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Story


DENISON, TX -- A teenager is working to get wigs to breast cancer patients with some help from a woman who fought the disease herself and won.

A Denison Girl Scout wanted to help those who have breast cancer after hearing about a friend's battle, and to get her mission accomplished, she reached out to a woman who fought cancer, and lived to tell the story.

Denison resident Susan Hooper says it had been five years since her last mammography, when she felt something on her breast. A checkup at the Health Department showed that it was cancer.

"It's devastating, it's hard to comprehend," Hooper says. "I think it took me the whole year and a half to comprehend that I had it."

Hooper says she had a radical mastectomy and survived. Right before speaking with KTEN, she ran into the woman who first confirmed her worst fears during that checkup.

"She said I recognize you and I started recalling the morning, and she said I know exactly who you are, and we hugged and I said thank you," Hooper says.

The reunion came at Reba's Ranch House, where Denison scout Maria Hayes has been busy working on a project to help others facing Hooper's struggle. Hayes says she was inspired by her hairdresser, who lost her hair during chemotherapy.

"She had breast cancer a few years ago and she said this would be a really good idea for a project, they've been looking for someone to do this," Hayes says.

After working on the project since May and getting some donations, a closet has been transformed into a Room for Hope, filled with wigs, hats, and other free supplies for breast cancer patients who need them.

"It just makes them feel good and helps them get through that time and let them know that there are people here who care," says scout leader Loide Wasmund.

Hooper says people were supportive during her fight, but she decided wigs were not her style.

"I didn't wear a wig, I didn't wear a cap, I was just bald, and it's amazing when you go out when you feel good enough to go out the people that come up to you just for that main reason and say I've gone through it, you're going to be okay," Hooper says.

Hooper says she started the first support group dedicated specifically to breast cancer in Texoma, and it now draws about 20 women every month during its meeting the second Monday at 7:00 p.m. at Reba's Ranch.  She says she feels good and has been cancer free for four years.