15 May Susan G. Komen® San Diego 2019 Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor Linda Welby Calls on San Diegans to Get Screened
Linda Welby: Stage III Patient to empower and educate San Diegan women about the importance of annual mammograms and self-compassion.
SAN DIEGO (May 15, 2019) – Susan G. Komen® San Diego (Komen San Diego) announced Point Loma resident and former Mighty 1090AM radio host, Linda Welby, as the 2019 Race for the Cure® Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor. As the organization’s spokesperson through the 23rd Annual Race for the Cure on Sunday, Nov. 3, Welby credits her survival to her doctors, treatments developed by Komen-funded research, her gentle yet determined mindset, and the unwavering support of her husband, children, radio station, fans, and friends.
Before getting her cancer diagnosis, Linda Welby had not gotten a mammogram in the past five years. But now, she has inspired countless family members, friends, and listeners to get annual mammograms. Susan G. Komen® believes all women should have access to regular screening mammograms when they and their health care providers decide it is best based on their personal risk of breast cancer. In addition, screening should be covered by insurance companies, government programs and other third-party payers. Because of Welby’s incredible strength, she is saving lives.
“I was not getting regular mammograms, and I want my story to inspire as many women as possible to get screened. You must be your own advocate. Your life is too important not to,” said Welby.
After learning about her diagnosis, Welby’s co-workers Scott Kaplan, John Browner, and her sports radio family begged Linda to do something in her honor. They created a Race for the Cure team and raised over $20,000 for Komen San Diego.
On Independence Day weekend 2018, Welby felt a lump on her left breast and knew she “caught the cancer bug.” After a mammogram and ultrasound, her doctor confirmed her suspicions. She had aggressive, Stage III, breast cancer.
Welby accepted surgery as her treatment option, but wanted to avoid chemotherapy at all costs. She was afraid of chemotherapy because she did not want to look like a “sick cancer patient in front of the ones she loved.” The former Mighty 1090AM radio host wanted to keep looking like the strong and powerful woman that she always was.
Dr. Cheryl Olsen at Scripps-La Jolla removed her tumor, and because Linda’s ONCO score was 27 (over the 25 threshold), she then underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy under the direction of Dr. Sabina Wallach. The treatment drugs used were Taxotere and Tamoxifen, both developed by Susan G. Komen research funding.
Since its inception in 1995, Susan G. Komen San Diego has invested more than $19 million in global breast cancer research and local breast health services. Keeping those dollars in the community, much of that investment has been awarded to scientists and research institutions in San Diego. Next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research in the world.
“Without this medication, I would not be able to watch my kids go to college. I would not be able to share another moment with my husband. Without this medication, I would not be alive today,” said Welby.
After her diagnosis, Linda was told she has dense breasts. Studies have found women with high breast density have four to five times higher risk of breast cancer compared to women with low breast density. In 2011, Komen San Diego helped pass a law in California requiring doctors to send a letter notifying patients after their mammogram if they have dense breasts. Unfortunately, there are still no standard screening guidelines for women with dense breasts. If a patient receives this notification they should speak with their medical providers about other types of breast imaging and screening tests.
Throughout the treatment process, Welby felt guilty about her bad days. As a mother of two and a public figure, she thought she had to be strong every second of every day for others. However, she finally realized that strength is not about putting up a front. True strength is being vulnerable. True strength is being gentle and loving with yourself. True strength is staying positive even when you are staring death in the face.
Now, Linda has been in remission for two months. The talk show host has decided to use her platform to create informative yet powerful videos on her upcoming YouTube channel that she struggled to find when she was going through breast cancer. She plans on interviewing San Diego Padres players on their experiences with breast cancer in their families, and creating a space where women going through the worst time in their lives can go for support from survivors.
“Linda Welby’s gentle tenacity is something we all should incorporate into our lives,” said Shaina Gross President & CEO, Susan G. Komen San Diego. “Her efforts to help raise over $20,000 has helped hundreds of women and families, and we are honored to be a part of her story.”
- Event: Susan G. Komen® San Diego’s 23rd Annual Race for the Cure® – The walk to end breast cancer
- Date: Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019
- Time: 6:30 a.m. Expo opens; 7:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony; 8:00 a.m. Start; 10:30 a.m. End
- Location: Balboa Park; Start: 6th Ave. at Palm St.
- Registration/Website: KomenSanDiego.org/Walk