RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Denise Kranich was warming up to run in her first SunTrust Marathon. But the words on her t-shirt revealed she had already crossed the finish line of a more important endurance test.
With that long run on a balmy Saturday in Richmond she was celebrating being five years cancer free. It's a milestone for any breast cancer survivor. Doctors say surviving five years after diagnosis means you have a good chance of remaining healthy.
I first interviewed Kranich after her diagnosis in 2006. She talked then about the importance of breast self exams. That's how she found her lump. Five years later, we got together again to talk about survivorship.
With a smile, Kranich says her oncologist had told her she could now fire him. So she says she did, officially, three weeks ago.
This next phase of her life includes new goals, such as running the marathon, and a new job as the Executive Director for LINC, the Legal Information Network for Cancer. Kranich says LINC helps cancer patients and survivors with their legal and financial problems including Medicare issues, insurance, and bankruptcy. LINC has 150 volunteer attorneys and financial planners providing free assistance.
Kranich says she never needed that help, but as a survivor she understands the challenges that exist beyond treatment. She's among more than two million breast cancer survivors in the United States. She says she hopes she can make a difference and let people know there is life after cancer.
Twenty-six miles were never easier.
Look for Stephanie Rochon's Buddy Check 6 reports on the 6th of every month