Dawn McGraw – 2018 Ambassador

City: Noblesville, IN

Age: 43

Date Diagnosed: 05/28/2009

As Dawn McGraw nursed her baby boy, she felt a lump in her breast. This was not her first-time breast feeding so she thought it may just be an infected milk duct. However, her father-in-law, who worked at a breast center, suggested she get it checked out.

Dawn can vividly picture the moment she got the news. The dripping of a faucet echoed against the sink as the words rang through her head: Stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma.

The idea of cancer was not new to Dawn’s family. Her aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 52. Dawn’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51. Her mother won that battle, yet a month before Dawn’s diagnosis, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Mother and daughter going through chemo at the same time was a bonding experience they never wanted nor expected.

After 8 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, 33 rounds of radiation and a complete hysterectomy, Dawn overcame her battle. Her mother lost her fight in February 2017. Dawn wishes her mother would have received genetic testing earlier in life. After doing genetic testing, the McGraw family learned that 9 of11 members were BRCA 2 positive.

Dawn is now an advocate for genetic testing. She shares her personal story with medical professionals in hopes of encouraging them to spread knowledge of genetic testing. Through this testing, she hopes to create a group of PRE-vivors.

Takeaway Message:

“Knowledge is power. Genetic testing can create a whole class of PREVIVORS.”

Connection with Komen:

Dawn has attended the race six times. She also attended a Komen sponsored event at the Speedway.