In 2001, Brenda Ladun felt a lump.
She went to the doctor, who told her it was stage two breast cancer. Ladun’s first thought was, “I can’t have cancer. I have kids.”
The next few years would prove strength is something she could summon when needed.
“The cancer enhanced my faith and my inner strength,” Ladun said. “I was a lot stronger than I thought I was.”
What followed was surgery to determine whether the cancer had spread to other organs. There would be months of chemotherapy following the surgery.
“The journey I had through cancer was a shock at first, but then I learned so much as a result of the struggle,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
The ABC 33/40 news anchor has made her fight with cancer public through three books, and an event she has held for more than a decade called Conquer Cancer Run. The annual event in the spring raises money for cancer research, education and prevention.
“I decided I had to do everything I could to fight it and get healthy again,” Ladun said. “I didn’t know what the future would hold. It really makes you look back and take account of your life and say, ‘What’s really important here?’ At the end of the day, it’s about the people you care about, the love in your life; it’s about the people you can show love to.”
Ladun has shared her journey through “Behind the Scenes of Breast Cancer: A News Anchor Tells Her Story of Body and Soul Recovery,” “Getting Better, Not Bitter” and “Encouraged: An Inspiring Journey with Real-Life Stories of Hope.”
“From my cancer, I realized that life is too short to be worried about the little things that really don’t matter in the end,” Ladun said.
An excerpt from “Behind the Scenes of Breast Cancer”:
“You may wonder, how can life go on for a cancer survivor after the ravages of surgery and chemotherapy? The answer is: hope. This is why I’ve written this book: to share with you the hope I found at the beginning of my cancer story, a hope that has continued to blossom even through the toughest times of my life. In the five years since I was diagnosed, I’ve had an amazing journey of growing in faith. I want to take you behind the scenes, if you will, to share the miracles I’ve experienced through my life’s storms as well as my encounters with other stories of hope. And I want to share the practical, spiritual lessons I have learned as I have been in recovery – physically and spiritually.”
Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected]