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ABC 17 News Anchor Morgan Buresh shares her family’s experience with breast cancer


ABC 17 News Anchor Morgan Buresh is sharing her family's experience with breast cancer as part of ABC 17 News' Raising Awareness coverage this month.

With a statistic of 1-in-8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer, most people will have some connection to the disease in their lifetime.

For me, it's my mom.

Morgan Buresh (right) stands with her mom, Mindy Doyle (left) on Morgan's wedding day (2023)

My mom, Mindy Doyle, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2014. She was 45 years old when she was diagnosed.

I remember the day she and my dad asked me and my brother to come into the kitchen to tell us about the diagnosis. It was a few days after my 16th birthday, in the summer of 2014. I was about to head into my sophomore year of high school.

They explained my mom had breast cancer, but it was caught early and the doctors said things looked good. I believed them, and I remember fully trusting everything was going to be okay.

I got on a call with Mom this month when I found out I could write this story for ABC 17 News. She told me a part of her had truly believed everything was going to be okay, too.

"At that point, we were a little bit unsure what was to come," my mom said. "I was told my prognosis was good, but there were still some tests to be ran, some questions that we still had. But in my heart of hearts, I did feel like it was going to be okay. The doctors had a plan, and things were going to be okay."

My mom began treatment at the Hulston Cancer Center in Springfield, Missouri. She got a double mastectomy in July 2014, and was confined to a recliner in our basement for a week or so to recover. I remember she had these little heart-shaped pillows decorated with breast cancer ribbons to help keep her arms comfortable.

Next, were months of chemotherapy. My mom was a Kindergarten teacher at the time and started her first chemotherapy treatment early in the school year.

Mindy Doyle, second from left, Morgan Buresh, second from right, and two Kindergarten teachers wear their school district's breast cancer awareness shirts in October (2015)

I remember when my mom started to lose her hair.

My dad would text my brother and me photos of Mom trying on outlandish wigs, but I remember thinking the wig she ended up choosing looked just like her.

I wanted to do my part, so I would help where I could by cleaning the house and doing the laundry. Our fridge and freezer were filled with meals brought over by friends and family, and we received lots of gift cards, sometimes from strangers. I remember my high school yearbook teacher buying a meal for me to bring home to my family every Wednesday.

And while this wasn't how we were used to living, my parents tried to make it as normal as possible for my brother and me. We were both teenagers, active in sports and extracurriculars. Our parents never let us skip a beat.

"There were days it wasn't easy, but I needed that from you guys, the family," my mom said. "I needed things to be the same. I didn't want everybody to sit around depressed or worried, I just wanted us to get up and go and do our things."

In January 2015, doctors believed my mom to be cancer-free.

From left to right: Morgan Buresh sits with her brother Kaleb Doyle, mom Mindy Doyle and dad Kent Doyle at a Springfield Cardinals' Cancer Survivors Night (2015)

Next year will mark 10 years since her initial diagnosis.

While it feels like a lifetime ago, my mom still goes to many appointments and is on preventative treatments, but she's told everything is looking good.

"I feel blessed," my mom said. "Almost 10 years later, I don't feel like I dealt with breast cancer 10 years ago and was going through the chemo and not feeling good and all the surgeries. I feel really good."

She said it's important for every woman to get her yearly screenings and emphasized that if she hadn't, our family's story could have ended up very differently.

Article Topic Follows: Health
breast cancer awareness
breast cancer awareness month

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Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.


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