October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month The American Cancer Society says 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. In Tucson, a lot of people are making a difference, raising awareness and money to find a cure.
Margaret Drugay is one them. She has been a volunteer with ACS for almost 34 years, well before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I had seen it from a professional side , a personal side, but then it was me and it was very different," said Drugay.
Drugay has a doctorate in nursing. While working in the medical field she met many breast cancer patients. Prior to her 2007 stage one breast cancer diagnosis, she lost her first husband to lung cancer. However, now it was time to fight for her life.
"I was terrified . The first thing I did was call a friend at the American Cancer Society who had also been diagnosed with breast cancer and I said how am I going to get through this. She said not worry, we'll get you thru this . They did and helped, " said Drugay.
Now, a survivor , she's involved with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the nation's leading cancer advocacy organization trying to make cancer a national priority.
"We need more funding for cancer research, not only breast cancer, but all cancer research," said Drugay.
"The American Cancer Society has funded 47 researchers early in their career who went on to become Nobel Laureates. That's very impressive," Drugay added.
The ACS says there are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. Drugay hopes to see that number grow as more people raise money for research.
"We're seeing more and more survivors. Hopefully, this will become a chronic disease and not something people consider fatal," said Drugay.