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Breast Cancer: Ronda's Story

Cancer Care
“I was totally shocked. I had no symptoms and no family history. I only had one grandchild and thought, I have to be here when that child graduates from high school. You’re faced with all the things you just take for granted.”

The Gift of Empowerment

When Ronda Matthias and her husband, Mark, received the results from her annual mammogram they were stunned. Ronda had stage IIB breast cancer.

She remembered, “I was totally shocked. I had no symptoms and no family history. I only had one grandchild and thought, I have to be here when that child graduates from high school. You’re faced with all the things you just take for granted.”

Throughout chemotherapy, Ronda used cold caps to retain her hair. With her hair intact, Ronda was free to keep her health matter private — only sharing with friends and family when she wanted to. “I just felt stronger not having them know what I was going through. For me, that was empowering.”

Today, Ronda is nearly three years cancer free. Now, she and Mark want to empower others on their cancer journey. Their gift to the Coborn Cancer Center Greatest Needs Fund created a scholarship to help others receive FDA-approved Paxman scalp cooling treatments.

“I hope people will use the scholarship money and give Paxman treatments a try,” Ronda explained. “You can be out in public doing your job and people you’re working with don’t need to know. It was a way to have a support group that I wanted and chose to tell.”

Mark, who is the CentraCare Physician Vice President of Acute Care, told us, “It’s hard to go through what Ronda’s been through without feeling blessed that it went as well as it did. We feel grateful for the staff and facilities we have. If the gifts we give can help somebody else navigate a difficult time in their life, it’s totally worth it.”