Brandenburg Family // Breast Cancer

Brandenburg-2Loverda Brandenburg’s family has been through a lot since her oldest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. The road has been difficult at times, but through it all they’ve come together to provide support. Not to mention bake up a storm to raise money for breast cancer research.

The journey began with Donna’s diagnosis in 2007. After a year of intense treatment at a hospital near her home in Kentucky, she was declared cancer free. But two years later, Loverda, who lives in Connersville with her husband of 53 years, discovered a lump in her breast. “Thankfully, it was slow-growing and we found it early,” says Loverda. “I had a mastectomy and then about six months of chemotherapy at Reid Hospital. Everyone at Reid was so good to me. If I was having a bad day, my nurse, Tammy Anderson, would give me a hug and sit with me and do all she could to keep my spirits up.”

Loverda had her last chemo treatment in November 2009. That same day, another daughter, Kim Chapman, was diagnosed with breast cancer, too. Kim’s was considered a more serious case. Eventually, she underwent a double mastectomy and a year of chemotherapy at Reid.

Kim says that the support she received from the staff at Reid made a big difference. “My cancer navigator, Kathy Macdonald, went above and beyond to help me, and every time I came to Reid for chemo she stopped by to visit,” recalls Kim, a wife and a mother of two who lives in Connersville. “The entire staff felt like they just couldn’t do enough for me. On my last day of treatment they even gave me a breast cancer survivor pin.”

Kim remains under the close supervision of her doctor. While the last few years have been difficult, she and her sisters and mom have found a creative and productive outlet.

“We bake all kinds of goodies and then one of my daughters, Angela, sells them at her beauty shop in Troy,” says Loverda. “Last year, we raised about $2,000 for breast cancer research — that’s a lot of fudge, peanut brittle and buckeyes! My daughters and granddaughters help with the baking, and some have even done fundraisers on their own. For instance, last spring some of them participated in a 5K Run/Walk for the Cure in Tipp City.”

Loverda says that breast cancer has brought her entire family closer together. “We’re right there for each other through everything,” she says. “I’m very thankful to have such great kids.”