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Preventing Breast Cancer~ Katie’s Story

This is a Breast Cancer Tribute to a truly inspirational woman, Katie Pass. If you know her, you know she has a heart of gold and an incredible and supportive husband, Cooper. I have been friends with them for years, photographed their wedding and couldn’t help but honor Katie & Cooper for the courageous step they are making in November for their future together as a family.

Katie’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 30 years old. She lost her battle after eight years and left behind a husband and two beautiful children. “I remember her being sick. I didn’t know she had cancer, but I remember her losing her hair and being in a wheelchair. When she wasn’t sick she was super active and fun. She was the love of my dad’s life. It was really hard until years later my dad met Michelle and I was blessed with a new mom and two wonderful sisters.” said Katie.

Katie grew up in Bowling Green and went on to college at Western Kentucky where she met Cooper. “I feel like growing up I didn’t have much confidence. A mother instills confidence and I didn’t have any until I met Cooper.” At 25 yrs. old Katie started doing mammograms. With genetic testing she found out that she has BRACA 2 gene which leaves her with 87% chance of getting breast cancer and a 50% chance for ovarian cancer. They recommended she have breast MRI’s and the first painful MRI she got a false positive result. “I always thought I might die young of cancer because my mom did. That first MRI was terrifying. Cooper and I were both like, okay, this it…its my time to get cancer.” After they found out it was a false positive Katie and Cooper took a break from the doctors and testing. They moved to Louisville together, got married and started enjoying life as young 20-somethings should.

At 29 Katie started seeing doctors again and since she was approaching the age when her mother got diagnosed most of her doctors recommended a profolaptic mastectomy. “I cried, I was terrified, I told them I wanted to wait and think about having children. I had finally started loving my body and I hated the thought of losing my breasts.” But if Katie did want to possibly have children one day she would run the risk of the hormones speeding up the cancer and possibly getting it while she was pregnant. So her and Cooper took some time and decided “We wanna handle this before it handles us.” On November 5th Katie will have a profolaptic mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. They searched for doctors and found the right one that they felt most comfortable with and the surgery will lower her risk from 87% to only 5% and she will no longer have to get frequent tests.

“We wanna handle this before it handles us.”

“I didn’t marry her for her boobs. I have wanted her to do this for a while, just to stop the worrying, be healthier, happier. I just want her to live along healthy life with me as long as possible. All I can do is support.” Said her husband Cooper, who was a smoker and has recently quit to prevent any more cancer in their lives.
Katie and Cooper are feeling good about their decision. They both have a huge support system of family and friends that have already reached out to them. Some of Katie’s closest friends threw her a “goodbye to the ta’s ta’s” party!
“I respect that this might not be a choice for everyone, but this time next year I won’t be worrying about constantly getting breast cancer. It’s not the way my mom would want me to live.” said Katie. They hope by sharing this story that it will educate women and men to get tested so that they can live long healthy lives.

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  • Butch Pass

    Thank you so much for the blog updates. What a great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Katelyn

    Amazing story about an amazing woman and her willingness to live!! Kayleen you did a perfect job!!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie

    Thank you so much for sharing Katie and Cooper’s story. They happen to be some of the best friends I’ve EVER had in my life. Katie, you are so inspirational to me in more ways than just this one. I love you…and Coop.ReplyCancel

  • Katelyn

    Amazing story about an amazing woman and her willingness to live!! kylene you did a perfect job!!ReplyCancel

  • Heather

    Wow! Beautiful story, beautifully written And photographed! Befitting of one of the most beautiful women I know! Thank youReplyCancel

  • carol

    Thanks so much fior sharing your story. It was so inspiring to hear about your story, it could help so many other girls and women.I hope all is well. May God bless you and give you healing. Love you through Christ!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sara

    Awesome story about an awesome woman! Thanks for sharing this personal journey. The photography is gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • just beautiful!! thank you katie for your courage and bravery in sharing your story. will be holding your heart in my hands on Nov. 5th!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kellie Mahaney

    Katie,
    I knew your Mom through Adam and Craig’s friendship. She was an awesome woman – so loving and caring. She would be so proud of you and this decision to meet this head on and choose life. You have grown into a beautiful brave woman and I know that your Mom is smiling down on you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.ReplyCancel

  • Tonia Darnell

    Katie, I saw the link on Hunter’s FB and so glad I followed it to read your story. You are just as beautiful on the inside as you are the outside!! We will keep you in our thoughts as you continue on this journey. Thanks for sharing! :)ReplyCancel

  • Anita Kiefer Gravens

    Katie you are just as BEAUTIFUL as your mom. Mary Patrice was a good friend of mine. We graduated together. She was precious. Lost contact after school but never forgot her. Wishing you all the love and health that you deserve.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi

    Katie you are such an amazing women and an inspiration to others. Thanks for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Hmepel

    Katie,

    I am so glad I saw this – thinking of you – you will do great. Please let me know if I can be of any help.

    Sarah HempelReplyCancel

  • Kelli Gillispie

    This is such an amazing tribute to an amazing woman and couple. Thank you so much for sharing their story to help spread awareness. Katie you are an inspiration and a pillar of strength. Health is the greatest gift we can have. Love youReplyCancel

  • Sandi Otte

    I knew Mary Patrice from high school, but became close to her after. She was the total package – beautiful, smart, talented, and above all, kind. I remember around 1971 she loved the Bee Gees song, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” and I think of her still whenever I hear it.

    We are blessed to have the technology to detect genetic cancer markers. Katie, you are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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