Darcy Gooder, 52, of Hudsonville, can be seen sporting her bright pink tutu around Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan (CHCWM) infusion pods. Dressed head to toe in pink to support breast cancer awareness, she hopes to connect with others who may be facing the same difficult battle.
Newly diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 2022, Darcy felt restricted with covid precautions and keeping up with her social life. “I am a people person. The loss of control and social isolation was the hardest part upon diagnosis. I try to find different ways to get my control back by wearing fun outfits like tutus and making friends in treatment.” Darcy said.
Having to take a leave of absence for work, her fear of feeling isolated was overwhelming. She would miss her team and the support they gave her daily. “By education, I am a nurse. But now, I teach medical terminology and phlebotomy to my students. I love my job, going to work, and my coworkers.” Darcy said. She stated her biggest challenge has been leaving work, but she loves her work family, which still supported her when she was on leave.
In the early summer of 2022, Darcy decided to have a double mastectomy. She claimed attitude has a lot to do with her healing process and wanted to throw a party celebrating her milestone surgery. The celebration was filled with pink pinatas, balloons, tutus, and laughter.
When asked how her treatment has been, she quickly replied, “Coming from a nursing background, I see how smart and caring people are here. I miss the people here when I don’t come. That is saying a lot; I’ve been a support person, but never a patient.”
When Darcy is not sporting her tutu in treatment, she is surrounded by loved ones and enjoying life. She devotes her positive attitude to her support system of husband Todd, children Emily and Matt, and close friend Virginia, along with many others who lend a helping hand. While in treatment, Darcy claims chemo helps, but at the end of the day her best form of medicine is laughter.
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