Mother's cancer fight shows 'race for a cure' is real



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Posted on November 4, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 7:40 PM

HUTTO, Texas -- Most people think breast cancer only affects older women. However five percent of all breast cancers occur in women under the age of 40.

One Central Texas mother had no reason to think she'd be one of them.

"I found a lump while I was getting ready for work," said Kim Jones.

That was on April 14, 2009. Kim was 39 with no family history of breast cancer.

"I remember not wanting to say anything," she said.

"I took it upon myself to make that phone call," said Kim’s husband Keith.

Keith called Kim's doctor to schedule an appointment. A week later they got the results of the biopsy.

"He said, 'It is cancer,'" recalled Keith. “I had my right arm around Kim and she just fell to her knees."

The cancer seemed to be contained so Kim opted for a lumpectomy.

"No reason to think I would have to have more surgery, and it came back. So I had a double mastectomy and another round of chemo."

Through it all, Kim's fighting spirit shined through.

"That's the one thing about Kim. She's a competitor. She doesn't like to lose against anything," said Keith.

Which is what made this summer's news that much more devastating. For the third time in four years, Kim's cancer had come back.

"Sometimes it doesn't even seem real," said Kim.

She's now taking an experimental drug that has shown promise in women with her type of triple negative breast cancer -- a cancer that tends to be more aggressive and more resistant to treatment.

"I'm not scared of dying. Heaven is my home, I know that. And in a way that is exciting, but leaving this family? Absolutely," said Kim.

"It's been tough," said Kim’s nine-year-old daughter Keeley.

"I just know how blessed I am to even have her,” said 12-year-old Kenzie. “If my dad hadn't made that call, she may not even be here."

Both of Kim’s daughters don't really remember much about their life before cancer. However they are incredibly proud of their mother's fight through it.

“These are times when people would want to turn in on themselves, withdraw and not want to tell that story. But we decided early on that people need hope," said Keith.

As part of the speakers bureau for Komen Austin, Kim shares her story at events across Central Texas. She recently became one of the Fab 15, serving as one of 15 honorary chairs for this year's Austin Race for the Cure.

"It changes your perspective on work and family. But even bigger on those little things that don't really matter," said Kim.

The Jones family chooses to focus on the joy that surrounds them, the laughter that brings them together and the mother that's proving with faith and hope - anything is possible.

"She is the strongest woman I know," said Kenzie.

Their's is a lesson for all families. They no longer take the simple things in life for granted.

"Every day is a gift,” said Keith. “Every day is a gift."

Kim's latest scan shows the experimental therapy hasn't changed her tumor growth much. The search continues for a treatment that can make a difference.

Kim and women like her are the reason we Race for the Cure. KVUE invites you to join our team Sunday, Nov. 10 in Downtown Austin for the 15th annual Race for the Cure.

You can register here and find more information on the race here.

Go here for KVUE's coverage of Race for the Cure.

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