CHCWM – Cancer & Hematology Centers of West Michigan

“In this family, no one fights alone.”

Kara Badger #KaraStrong

Michigan mom Kara Badger, 44, has always been close with her family. She never imagined the support they would provide her later in life until she was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer.

“I was so scared. My Dad was the only person I knew who had cancer and he died within nine months of his diagnosis” Kara explained as she recalled her first days being diagnosed in 2019.

Despite her fear, Kara decided to fight her battle even if it meant she had to work full-time through her chemotherapy treatments.

After receiving clear CT scans, a reoccurrence of colon cancer appeared again in early 2021. At this point, Kara’s cancer had metastasized to other areas of her body. 

While Kara’s cancer journey has been challenging, she states she could not do any of it without her family. “I’m so fortunate to have older children that can help me with where I’m at with my treatment.” She says as her son Tyler, 25, smiles from the corner of the room.  

“My sister-in-law has basically been my stay-at-home nurse and has been through it all with me.” She said, “My family and friends have even made me a hashtag. #KaraStrong”

Kara updates her friends and family on her journey through her Facebook page @Kara’s Cancer Warriors. “On the days, I’ve had surgeries they all wear the shirts they made to support me. They say #KaraStrong on them.” She said smiling, “In the past, they made ones that said, “In this family, nobody fights alone”, and that is so true with my family.”

When asked what she would want others facing cancer to know, Kara replied, “You have to try to stay strong, positive, and to try your best to see the bright side of things. Above all, you must be willing to fight. That’s why I have my Warrior tattoo. To give me that reminder.”

Kara believes in Y.O.L.O. (you only live once) and living to the fullest even on the hard days. “You never know when your time will come. So, I always say, “Y.O.L.O!” to my friends and family.”

When asked about how her care with Dr. Eric Santos, MD and staff at Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan has been she enthusiastically replied, “I’ve not had one bad treatment here. I love it here”.

Looking toward the future, Kara hopes to spend as much time with her family as possible. Her favorite days are spent on the beach, by a pool, or anywhere she can find the sunshine. Kara is never to be seen without her trusty sidekick, Jax. A sassy Shih Tzu that only wants love from his mom. Her happiness can be found at home with Jax, a good book, and of course, surrounded by her dear family. 

 

 

Contact Information: Becky Byers, Marketing Coordinator (bbyers@chcwm.com, 616-389-1712)