Tri-State Loses Cancer Patient Michelle Head

New Media Producer: Brad Maglinger

Beth Knapp and Sheila Hauck look at pictures of past Race for the Cure events, ones that Michelle Head was always a part of. Her thinning hair from chemotherapy didn't keep her from smiling. In fact, nothing stopped her from smiling.

"To live life to its fullest and to cherish every moment that was given to her is one of the things that made her special," says Knapp.

Shannon Samson first met Michelle in 2002 at a practice for her daughter's volleyball team. It was right after she found out the cancer that had been in remission had come back. This time, with a vengeance, an inoperable tumor in her chest wall and some lesions in her lung.

"I would be insane if I looked too far ahead," Michelle once said. "I just take a day at a time and try to enjoy the day and take whatever comes."

And that's how she lived her life, one day at a time with her family. In September of 2003, she couldn't have looked better on the outside, but inside, the situation couldn't have been worse. With nothing left to do for her locally, she was taking part in a clinical trial in Nashville, Tennesseee as a last ditch effort to save her life.

But, unfortunately, nothing could. And now, the two people who work so hard to save women like Michelle have to say good-bye to another friend.

"We're here to help people find early detection so their lives can be cured," says Hauck. "There are many people that have a hope for a cure that we are successful. And we are successful. It's just unfortunately, we aren't successful with some people and Michelle was one of those people, we just were not successful."

It was always very important to Michelle that others hear her story so they will get early screenings for this horrible disease. Later this month, the Komen Foundation is hosting a lecture by Dr. Lasalle Leffall, a member of the President's Cancer Panel. A question and answer session will follow.

"State-of-the-Art Trends in Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment"
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Executive Inn