Mindy McKinstry

At 67, most people are preparing for their next stage of life; discussions of retirement, travel, and settling down arise. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Mindy.

On November 9, 2017, Mindy was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the diagnosis and recovery process, she learned countless life lessons throughout her battle with the disease.

When asked about her family and friend’s role during her journey, with genuine love in her voice Mindy says, “my husband was the best ever…he was the go-to guy”.

Mindy expressed her gratitude and appreciation for all the positive support in her life. Talking about her friends, she mentioned a few who had breast cancer prior to her diagnosis. Jokingly she says, “Now it’s my turn!”.

Throughout her journey, not only are her friends and family supportive but her employer and medical staff as well. She says she felt “extraordinarily lucky” to have an employer who was “very understanding, reasonable, and very accommodating”. An environment like this provides like-minded support, guidance, and adds to one’s self-determination.  

With appointments left and right, traveling can be an issue. Especially when you travel 64 miles round trip for an appointment!

With bills adding up and time off work, it was difficult for Mindy to support all these new expenses. Thankfully, Susan G. Komen offers the Treatment Access Program (TAP) – a program that financially assists individual’s with transportation, food, and lodging during treatment.

In reference to the Program’s profound effect on her treatment, Mindy says “someone cared enough to help me get connected with the program and as everyone knows, all helps to decrease the stress level. I am out of sick time at work, so the Treatment Access Program was so helpful.”

In the top margin of a returned survey about the program, Mindy wrote “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”  

Working in the medical field as a mammographer, Mindy “dealt with breast cancer survivors everyday”. Working with numerous patients, Mindy has valuable medical insight. She advises those recently diagnosed to understand “everybody is different, you cannot judge what’s going to happen to you by what you see on Facebook or online; everybody’s disease is different, everybody’s body reacts differently”. She continues gracefully stating, “if you have questions, look for a legitimate second opinion which doesn’t mean Facebook…they read all kind of things and go off the deep end”.

Mindy humbly reiterates her wish to uplift those effected. With a clear and genuine voice, Mindy wants others to know “you don’t know how strong you are until you need it and need to find out”. Mindy has dedicated her life to being of service to others. It truly was inspiring to speak with her and get to know a piece of her story.

Like the famous Teddy Roosevelt said, “Do what you can with all you have, wherever you are.” Without a doubt Mindy exemplifies this and what it means to be MORE THAN PINK.