THINK PINK: One friend's death encourages another to save lives

THINK PINK: One friend's death encourages another to save lives

(FOX19) -- Just about any day during the week, you can find Tyler and her son walking. They're training for a race. but the road to this one. includes helping others beat breast cancer.

"I feel really blessed," said Tyler. "Not just being a survivor, but being able to help other people who are going through the same thing. It's a blessing."

Tyler is a survivor. She's been cancer-free for six years.

"I'm in good health," said Tyler. "I'm able to walk."

She's not kidding. Tyler has participated in 17 races for the cure-- 14 locally. On Friday, she'll begin day one of her third Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Atlanta. She will walk 60 miles over three days. She is trying to raise $2,300 to fight breast cancer. She's close to reaching her goal, but still needs some help to do it. She's doing it in the name of a friend who fought the disease until her last day.

"It really, really hit home to me as to why I'm still here and that is to let other people know that they can still live with this disease; be an encouragement to other people who have been diagnosed with this disease," said Tyler. "It's tough. It makes you think why are you still here and someone like that has passed?"

Tyler's friend, Catherine Lewis Mobley, died nearly a year ago from stage four breast cancer.

"My mother," remembers Nathaniel Mobley, Catherine Lewis Mobley's son. "I know everyone says how their mother or their grandmother was the sweetest person, but you can ask anyone. She really was an extremely sweet lady."

Nathaniel Mobley said the diagnosis caught everyone by surprise. He said there's no history of breast cancer in the family.

"I'll never say she lost her battle," said Nathaniel Mobley. "She won the victory in Heaven. That's how I feel."

Researchers say women of color, especially African-American women, tend to be diagnosed younger and with more aggressive breast cancers. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there is a death rate of 40 and 41 percent in Hamilton and Butler counties for blacks with breast cancer. There is a rate of 27 in the same counties for white females. Rates were not presented for blacks in Clermont, Warren, and Brown counties.

It's a startling reality that Nathaniel Mobley, his sister, and their father know too well. Mobley hopes no one has to experience the pain he felt on his mother's last day. He was the first in the family to get the news.

"I was sleep," said Mobley. "It was maybe three or four in the morning, and the lady at Drake Hospital tapped me on my shoulder. She told me 'your mother just passed away.' I don't know if I was shocked, but it took me, like, hours before I started crying."

Catherine Mobley inspired Tyler to share her story.

Tyler now focused on encouraging others to get involved and to get a mammogram. She had her first at 37, but skipped her second mammogram. Tyler wonders if that's why she was diagnosed at 39 with stage two breast cancer. Through it all, she said she's only missed one day of work-- even during chemotherapy. Tyler scheduled treatments on the weekends she didn't have custody of her 14-year-old son. It was tough, but Tyler said she always stayed focused on her goal: watching her son grow into a man.

"I think a lot of us are afraid," said Tyler. "We're afraid of the diagnosis because a lot of us are single parent homes. What are we going to do with our kids? But I say to that, what are your kids going to do without you?"


Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.