SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- Tina Orner exemplifies what Buddy Check is all about. She did regular breast self-exams, and it saved her life.
"I found the lump myself," said Orner of Spring Brook Township. "The buddy check is great because it tells people to do that, and I can't say enough that early detection is primary."
She was diagnosed with stage B-2 breast cancer in 2001.
"I was in shock that it happened," said Orner.
She had a mastectomy and cancerous lymph nodes removed in June 2001, which was followed by six months of chemotherapy. The next year, she went to the cancer survivor celebration, put on annually by the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute (NRCI).
"There was people I knew from treatment there, and it was great to see them," Orner said. "Then the next year, you get to see them again. And that's what I looked forward to every year."
In June 2006, the fifth anniversary of her own mastectomy, Orner volunteered with the cancer survivor celebration.
"I felt that when I was going through all my treatment, I had a lot of help," she said. "And I just want to give back."
"She's always got fresh ideas and down to earth thinking that only can come from someone who's an actual survivor," said Bob Durkin, president of NRCI. He encourages anyone affected by cancer to join the 1,000-plus survivors at the yearly party. "Survivor celebration gives them the chance to meet hundreds of people who've had the same experience."
You can count on seeing Tina there.
"Forever. It's in my blood. Yeah, they're not getting rid of me," laughed Orner.
And she isn't getting rid of her positive outlook.
Tina tells us she's also involved with Camp Braveheart, a getaway for women dealing with cancer. She welcomes anyone interested to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more information on the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute by copying and pasting the following link in your web browser: http://www.cancernepa.org/