Reverend Dawn Weaks
Reverend Dawn Weaks is a true believer in early detection. A discovery in result of a routine mammogram may have saved her life. “They found something suspicious,” Weaks said. “I didn’t think much of it because I have fibrocystic breasts and usually get called back. It’s never been anything”.
Having lived in Odessa just over a year, Weaks’ previous mammogram results had to be sent to MCHS from Kansas City. Radiology Diagnostic Physician Dr. Gina Campagna determined from the mammogram’s results that further testing was necessary. Weaks said Dr. Campagna’s “gentle, but insistent encouragement” made her realize the gravity of the situation. A biopsy revealed that Weaks had breast cancer. Certainly not what anyone wants to hear.
“My initial thought was to ‘cut them both off’ because I just need to be healthy for my children and husband” Weaks stated. “My surgeon, Dr. Unruh, let me know that the situation could be handled with a much less radical lumpectomy and lymph node removal.”
Through genetic testing, Weaks was comforted to know that breast cancer does not run in her family genetically, which makes additional occurrences of breast cancer less of a possibility for her and her children.
Weaks is a minister at First Christian Church. She is typically the person giving the care and praying for others. The diagnosis of breast cancer turned the situation around. She was suddenly the recipient of care and prayer.
“I feel like I’ve had a divine healing. For the minister to be in a position to be prayed for and cared for is a growth opportunity for the minister,” Weaks said.
Weaks’ breast cancer journey was featured in a very informative and impactful Odessa American article.
“I am pleased by the number of people who tell me that, because they read the article, they have scheduled their mammogram!”
Weaks praised the competent and compassionate healthcare staff members throughout MCHS and West Texas Cancer Center. “Please be faithful about getting your mammogram each year,” Weaks said. “Encourage your friends and family members to do the same. It is so very important to have early detection on things like cancer. Early detection gives you a higher chance of a better outcome. I’m living proof of that!”