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2013 Komen Ambassadors

12 Faces of Breast Cancer in Central Indiana

Welcome to the 2013 Komen Ambassadors! These women and men represent some of the different faces of breast cancer here in Central Indiana, and they all are working individually and collectively to spread the importance of knowing your body and advocating for your health. Read on to find out more about each of this year's ambassadors!


  Name: Shoshana Brady
County: Hamilton
# Years Survivorship: 2012 and still fighting
Type of Breast Cancer: Triple Negative Stage 2
Takeaway Thought/Message: “We all need to be aware of breast cancer. We need to examine and listen to our bodies. If something does not seem quite right, get checked out. Be your own advocate!”
Personal Background: Military (army) wife. She enjoys family time, working out, reading and being with friends. Once she is done with radiation treatments, she will start the more chemotherapy and a clinical trial.
A Quote: “It’s little things like pop songs that fill your bucket when you’re going through something like this!”
  Name: Kim DeMoss
County: Marion
# Years Survivorship: 2011
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage 4 T2 N3c Invasive ductal cancer, Triple Negative
Takeaway Thought/Message: “God has a plan for each of us, and we will never know it until it hits us fact to face. Just be ready to roll with the punches.”
Personal Background: A wife and a mother of a 13-year-old son. Sewing is a big hobby, but since chemotherapy neuropathy has slowed it down a bit. Kim loves to take pictures and would like to be a photographer when she grows up.
A Quote: “Laughter and smiles was and still is the best therapy.”
  Name: Debby Duke
County: Hamilton
# Years Survivorship: 2011
Type of Breast Cancer: Invasive Lobular
Takeaway Thought/Message: "Yearly mammograms have increased my chance of survival through early detection - as a result, my treatment program was less invasive than it could have been."
Personal Background: Collects antique pottery and enjoys traveling, reading and cooking. She has volunteered at the Kroger tent on Race Day for several years now, distributing snack bags and water to participants.
A Quote: “Breast cancer is extremely complicated and diverse – I’m astounded at the number of women with insurance who still aren’t getting their mammograms.”
  Name: Julie Hollis
County: Marion
# Years Survivorship: 2012
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Takeaway Thought/Message: "Find a great support team and stay positive through the process."

Personal Background: She is a wedding + event floral designer and owns Julie's Flowers of Geist. Has a teenage son and daughter, wonderfully supportive significant other, excellent church home (Vineyard Community Church) and a cat named Lucy. Enjoys being outdoors and spending time with friends and family.
A Quote: “The hardest part is knowing who you thought you were, and then learning to be a new woman.”
  Name: Reverend William “Bill” Parks
County: Montgomery

# Years Survivorship: 2012
Takeaway Thought/Message: Men can get breast cancer, too.
Personal Background: Found a small bump in chest while he was in Nicaragua and got it checked out after getting back - he had surgery at the same time his wife was going through colon cancer treatment. They have three sons and nine grandchildren. Enjoys reading, studying and spending time outdoors (grew up on a farm in Northern Indiana). Is pastor at the First Assembly of God.
A Quote: "Surround yourself with good, positive and supportive people. Fill your mind with things that lift your spirit and encourage you."
  Name: Alesha Goins
County: Marion
# Years Survivorship: 2006
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage IV Breast Cancer (’06) Stage IV Aggressive Breast Cancer (’10)
Takeaway Thought/Message: “Never give up. Faith - with love and support of family and friends - is the only thing that will pull you through this. It is all right to need help."
Personal Background: Married with two kids - a 12-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. She was eight months pregnant with her son when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time.
A Quote: “To look at me, you’d never think I had cancer – a man in the hospital actually asked me to get him coffee when I was in there for treatment.”
  Name: Cathy Horne
County: Madison
# Years Survivorship: 2012
Type of Breast Cancer: Left Breast HER2 Estrogen Receptor Positive
Takeaway Thought/Message: “Value every minute of life, no matter how hard it may get. I want to encourage people to not give up and to not take life for granted.”
Personal Background: Within two years, she lost her husband of eight years, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and lost her job of 15 years. Got health insurance from Hoosier Healthwise. Has two daughters and three grandkids. Volunteers at the Childrens' Bureau.
A Quote: “'Survivor’ – I love that word and what it means; living.”
  Name: Nancy Maethner
County: Marion
# Years Survivorship: 2012
Type of Breast Cancer: Triple Negative
Takeaway Thought/Message: “The most important thing us mothers can do is take care of ourselves so we are there in the future for our children and grandchildren. Having lost my father to cancer when I was 18 years old, I understand how this disease affects children and families.”
Personal Background: Married to high school sweetheart for 24 years and has two children. Loves sports and outdoor activities - lifelong golf player and plays soccer in several women’s leagues.
A Quote: “If we don’t put our health first, we can’t be there for our family."
  Name: LaShawn Scott
County: Howard
# Years Survivorship: 2012
Type of Breast Cancer: Triple Negative Stage Three with Lymph Node Involvement
Takeaway Thought/Message: “My plea to all women is to please get tested every year. I was told in 2010 to come back in two years because my tests were always fine, but I didn’t agree so I kept coming back each year. I often wonder if I had not gone back each year, would I have been in Stage IV so far gone that there would have been nothing that they can do for me?"
Personal Background: Has two kids and husband who was very diligent with research and questions during treatment. She finished her MBA program during treatment.
A Quote: "To all my sisters - let’s beat up this breast cancer bully and fight back. Let’s declare 'you don’t win.' When you look in the mirror, and all you see looking back at you is a bald head, missing eyebrows, eyelashes and sunken dark eyes, smile and say ‘Cancer you still don’t win.'"
  Name: Susan Otto
County: Marion
# Years Survivorship: Since 2012
Type of Breast Cancer: Triple Negative Stage One
Takeaway Thought/Message: “As women we resist taking help, but letting go of that is a humbling and rewarding experience."
Personal Background: Enjoys running, yoga, ice skating, gardening and is taking up golf. She and husband of 22 years have 14-year-old son.
A Quote: "We had just moved to Indiana when I was diagnosed, and my son ended up passing along my story at the bus stop. Other moms immediately jumped in and set up a food and cleaning schedule to help, even though they didn't know me yet. They helped me get through it - I grew as a person and gained strength because of the support of others."
  Name: Donna Petraits
County: Hendricks
# Years Survivorship: 2011
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma
Takeaway Thought/Message: “We are the cure! I am the cure!"
Personal Background: After the death of a friend in 2001, Donna pulled together a team of 92 friends and staff from Brownsburg High School and walked the day before her friend’s 53rd birthday. Ever since, has led the charge as Team Captain for Brownsburg Schools and raised over $200,000 for Komen. She and her husband Mike have a blended family, love to travel and take trips on his motorcycle. Her oldest daughter (32 years old) is about to donate health breast tissue.
A Quote: “When my husband stood at the door beaming when I got home, I knew it wasn’t my journey – it was our journey.”
  Name: Cheryl Snodgrass
County: Hendricks
# Years Survivorship: 2001
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage 1 invasive ductal
Takeaway Thought/Message: “You are never too young to get a mammogram.”
Personal Background: Is a registered nurse and in school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner - she would love to work with cancer patients when done. Has a husband of 29 years and three kids. Is a "Reach To Recovery" volunteer for American Cancer Society.
Quote: "I was 37 when I was diagnosed and had no symptoms. I just randomly had a mammogram because I am a nurse - just from the mammogram, they knew it was cancer."

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