Honorary survivor: Two-time cancer survivor


The first diagnosis was Aug. 13, 2010. After a major surgery, 18 weeks of chemotherapy and 15 months of a recovery trial drug, Kim Weeks became a survivor of ovarian cancer. 

The cancer then recurred July 2013, and after another major surgery and 18 more weeks of chemotherapy, Weeks once again survived ovarian cancer.

“I wasn’t feeling like myself. By that I mean I was more tired than usual, feeling full quickly after a few bites of food, and I had some discomfort in my pelvic area…I will never forget that day,” Weeks said. “I was diagnosed the first time on Aug. 13, 2010 [the same day] my niece, Wendi graduated from UNO with her business degree.”

Weeks has not had treatment since the beginning of June 2014 but is monitored closely and goes in for routine check ups.

“It is scary [to go through cancer] to say the least…You feel the diagnosis is a death sentence,” Weeks said. “I truly believe my faith and having a positive attitude has played a huge part in getting me through all of this.”

One contributing factor for two successful rounds of chemotherapy was the pre-knowledge of a gene mutation, BRCA 1, which she and two of her sisters had tested positive for. People with BRCA 1 are more susceptible to breast cancer.

“I made the gut wrenching decision to have an elective bilateral mastectomy in August of 2009 [to try and avoid breast cancer],” Weeks said. “Less than a year later, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”

Weeks and her family are no strangers to the hardships of cancer. She lost her older sister to breast cancer in 2005 and another older sister to pancreatic cancer Sept. 4, 2015, who had also been a 20 year survivor of breast cancer. Weeks’ mother was also a survivor of breast cancer for 20 years before she passed away in 2002. 

According to Weeks, being a survivor has put a positive perspective on life for her.

“I love my family and friends, and I make sure they know it on a daily basis. My daughter, Jarah, means the world to me, and I am so blessed to have her,” Weeks said. “I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore…life is very short, and I live it day by day.”