Skip to main content.

Check back soon to meet our 2023 Advocate!

2022 Advocate- Betty Kabara

Betty Kabara was blindsided by the result of her routine mammogram in 2019.

“They found a stage 1 tumor growing in my breast,” she says. “I never dreamed it would happen to me.” For 35 years, she’d done everything right. Like so many of you, she underwent breast cancer screenings annually after age 40 and cared for her health. She had no lump, no symptoms and no history of breast cancer in her genes.

Betty put her life in Gundersen’s capable hands for surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. Months later, she underwent a scan to reveal whether she beat breast cancer.

“I told the nurse you better give me a good report,” Betty says. It had to be good news, she thought. She survived cancer twice before, when it invaded her head and neck, and esophagus. On that day in one of our patient rooms, Betty learned her story of survival wasn’t over yet.

“The nurse told me the tumor was gone, but that they found a tumor in my other breast,” she says. Relying again on her faith in Gundersen providers, Betty underwent a second surgery to remove breast cancer. “I knew they were going to get it out. And they did. I can’t say enough about the amazing care,” she says.

“It really goes to show that early detection is the key.” And that’s what she needs you to know: routine mammograms save lives. It saved hers.

One in eight of us will face breast cancer. It won’t discriminate. It may not let you know when it invades your body—but a mammogram will. “With the numbers out there of those living with breast cancer, this is something you must do,” Betty says. “You have to protect
your health.”

Today, Betty is 78, a philanthropist and chief executive officer and president of Med-Chem Labs, Inc. It’s a great honor to serve as Steppin’ Out in Pink’s advocate, she says, and she plans to use her role to encourage annual breast cancer screenings and research toward finding a cure. Betty’s story of survival is a testament to the power of positive thinking, preventative screenings and the capabilities of care. She hopes her experience inspires others on their own path — and that they find that while everyone is on a different journey, no one fights alone.

“You have to stay positive. There is hope for you. Fight hard,” she says. “Get good doctors. And you’ll find them at Gundersen.”

Download her story here