Runners/walkers will get a t-shirt in the color maroon, which is the oral cancer color, and all proceeds go to research on oral cancer.
We’ll be having a free oral cancer screenings for the community to come out. And we’ll have guest speakers with two doctors who are notable in the oral cancer research realm to talk about some new research on oral cancer.”
SHELBY WATKINS, 4TH ANNUAL ORAL CANCER FOUNDATION FUN RUN/WALK CO-COORDINATOR
KHON2 News spoke with Watkins about her oral cancer journey.
Watkins said she was a very healthy 19-year-old with no knowledge of oral cancer when she was diagnosed at stage 3.
“When I thought of oral cancer, I thought of like smokers and 65 year olds, that sort of thing. I ever thought I could be a 19-year-old just going about their life,” said Watkins.
“Then I had some significant ear pain and that’s when I called,” said Watkins. “I got a second biopsy and then that’s when I was diagnosed, and the ear pain actually turned out to be a lymph node that was had cancer.”
Watkins then went through radiation and several surgeries including a 10-hour surgery that removed half her tongue and 32 lymph nodes.
Ten years later, she said, as cliché as it sounds, she never takes a day for granted and lives life to the fullest without fear.