The 2020 Cure Bowl is only 45 days away! This is the Orlando Sports Foundation’s biggest event of the year and we can’t wait to celebrate all the breast cancer fighters, survivors, and thrivers out there! So mark your calendars for December 26 because kickoff is at noon ET on ESPN!
This Warrior Wednesday, we talked to Catrina Southall about her battle against breast cancer. Read Catrina’s story below:
OSF: Tell us your personal story.
C: I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in July 2016. I was diagnosed between stages 2 and 3. I had double mastectomy surgery on August 16th, 2016. I also endured reconstructive surgery the same day. My surgery was outpatient (which I would never recommend) because I went home and collapsed. My blood pressure dropped significantly and I was losing blood from my drain tubes. I had to sleep on the floor overnight because when I collapsed I didn’t have enough energy to stand and get in the bed. I went through 6 months of chemo and a few sessions of radiation. I lost all my hair and lost over 20 lbs. My tongue turned black, my nail beds turned black, and toenails. The palms of my hand and bottom of my feet turned really dark. I had to endure a blood transfusion and a ton of medical bills. I say that to say…through it all…I SURVIVED. I’m 4 years in remission living a fairly healthy life. I suffer from neuropathy (minor in my toes) and have lost some bone density. Through it all, I always remained happy. Never feeling sorry for myself because I knew I’d get the chance to share my story.
OSF: How old were you when you were diagnosed?
OSF: What Stage were you diagnosed with?
C: Between stage 2 and 3. 3 because of the size of the mass..2 because it wasn’t found anywhere else besides the left breast.
OSF: What did your support system look like?
C: My husband and children (19 and 8), my bowling family, my aunt Cassie, and a host of friends.
OSF: Did you lose your hair? How did you manage this?
C: Yes. I cried like a baby. But it grew back.
OSF: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
C: Neuropathy. Nerve damage to my hands and feet.
OSF: If you’re a survivor, how is life now compared to life before your diagnosis?
C: You learn not to take things for granted.
OSF: What’s your best advice for anyone currently fighting cancer?
C: To still smile through it all. I always held a happy disposition. But cried when I needed to.
OSF: What does the Cure Bowl mean to you?
C: It means the world. To connect to women who understand. Women who fought the fight. With men who have survived. It’s overwhelming!!! I love the Cure Bowl and OSF. It was the first event I attended in 2016 with a beautiful bald head! Thanks for bringing it back. It’s a day to commemorate US! That feels special.
OSF: Do you have an inspirational quote you’re like to share?
C: Yes, my husband said to me, “It’s just hair! You weren’t born with any and you were beautiful then…you still are.”
OSF: Anything else you’d like to add?
C: My husband shaved my head before all my hair fell out. We wanted to make the choice as to when. So we shaved my head.
Thank you to Catrina for sharing her story with us.
Thank you to Dr. Phillips Charities for sponsoring our Warrior Wednesday program.
If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer and would like to share your story, please fill out this form to be considered for our next Warrior Wednesday spotlight.