Staci Franklin: From diagnosis to mission

newsroom@tri-statedefender.com | 10/25/2014, 12:24 p.m.

Franklin was enjoying a Valentine’s Day spa day in 2009 when she discovered a small mass in her left breast. She decided to wait a few weeks and make a doctor’s appointment if the mass didn’t go away. By mid-March, the mass still had not left, and she made an appointment with her gynecologist.

After a series of mammograms and biopsies, Franklin was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. It was May 15, 2009.

Franklin’s Stage 1 cancer was diagnosed as “Triple Negative,” which tends to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancers. Telling her family, particularly her mother, about her diagnosis was hard, especially since Franklin’s maternal grandmother had died of breast cancer almost 30 years earlier.

The diagnosis did not stop Franklin, who persevered with the support of her family. On May 20, 2009, she underwent surgery to remove the mass and lymph nodes. And after freezing her eggs for future use, she underwent chemotherapy treatment from July 30 to Oct. 1 of that year. Next came radiation treatment, which ended on Dec. 21, 2009.

Although her experience with cancer was over, Franklin’s mission had just begun. She was determined to make sure more women are aware of preventative measures.

A Pink Affair was a testament to Franklin’s commitment. The fundraising event supported the Wings Cancer Foundation’s Lymphedema and Form Fitting Programs, which assist underserved Mid-South breast cancer survivors by providing them with lymphedema garments, breast prostheses and mastectomy supplies.

The evening featured a Pink Carpet Arrival with Pink Heals Memphis – a group of firefighters whose purpose is to raise awareness about breast cancer. Other elements included a silent auction, a vacation raffle, live entertainment by the 4851 Jazz Band, and music provided by DJ Stan Bell of V101.1 FM.