AUSTIN -- Sometimes the little things in life bring us the most joy. Deb Groves is especially grateful for every moment.
“I think once you've had cancer you're just never at a complete sense of peace," said Groves.
As a two-time cancer survivor, first thyroid cancer and then breast cancer, Groves has learned a lot.
"For me it's like learning to listen to my gut and more importantly I've had to learn to be my own advocate," she said.
Studies show only about 52 percent of American women get yearly mammograms. It is why Deb Groves wanted to share her story. Her mammogram saved her life.
Techs thought her lymph nodes looked different, so they called her back.
"They wanted me to come back in four months and four months for me would have been a pretty serious situation," she said.
Worried, she pushed for more tests. She was right. It was cancer.
"I did a lumpectomy, had two lymph nodes removed and then 33 radiation treatments," said Groves.
Three and a half years later she is once again cancer free and more driven than ever to help others as a volunteer for Komen Austin.
"I've done the whole race thing as a participant, or just the regular participant, and then I was the survivor participant," she said.
This year the Komen Race for the Cure will once again wind through downtown and around the state Capitol. However, what makes the race so special is that this will be the 15th anniversary and Groves plans to be front and center.
"It's the 15th celebration. It's so exciting," she said.
It’s also easier than ever to do your part.
"For the next 15 days it's $15 for registration," said Groves. That's a big savings that can make a big difference.
"It's a great way to give back to Austin," she said.
Komen Austin awarded a million dollars worth of grants this year, giving more than $700,000 to local agencies to provide help to women in Central Texas; this in a year when donations were down.
Groves has seen all the work in action as co-chair of the survivor tent.
"I've seen some of the most passionate groups of people that I've ever had the privilege or honor to work with," she said.
As a proud survivor, Groves relishes the little things and knows she is living proof the race to find a cure is real.
This year's race is November 10 in downtown Austin. You can go here to register and take advantage of the discounted registration.