Cancer survivor Tamira Hite, gives back to make an impact
What are the odds of finding out you are diagnosed with two cancers at the same time?
“Getting diagnosed with Breast Cancer and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) at the same time couldn’t have been a bigger shocker,” recalled Tamira Hite, who serves as executive assistant to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center’s senior leadership team.
Due to her family’s extensive history with the disease, Hite immediately flashed back to when her mother passed away of Colon Cancer and her grandmother passing away of Breast Cancer.
“I couldn’t help but feel frightened with the thought of it meaning a death sentence for me,” explained Hite.
Through the tragic passing of those close to her, Hite became proactive in trying to prevent being diagnosed with cancer herself starting her annual screenings at the proper age and going back during the recommended timeframes.
“Thanks to the 3-D mammogram I received on-time at the Breast Health Center at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, I was fortunate to have my Breast Cancer detected early,” said Hite.
Her journey has sparked a passion for spreading the news to patients, staff and the community on how important early detection is as it can save your life or the lives of someone you love. In October 2015, Hite launched a mammogram sign-up program event twice a year at Legacy Salmon Creek and last year she expanded the program to cover other cancers.
“I felt it was essential to expand the program to include other cancers as those patients need hope and education too,” explained Hite. “And because Legacy Salmon Creek has expanded their cancer services, we have access to more oncology providers who now participate in the events, answering questions and addressing concerns the community and staff may have.”
Although Hite’s journey has not been without its bumps in the road, she has found solace in being able to raise awareness of the importance of screening at these events.
In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed each March, Hite and her team were able to schedule 72 mammograms and connect with 175-200 community members and employees.
“It has been inspiring to hear from those who have attended in the past how much they appreciated the convenience of on-site scheduling and how they may have forgotten to do it without the opportunity to get it done in the moment,” said Hite. “The information shared at the event also has helped them understand how important it is to stay on top of their screenings.”
In June 2019, Hite will celebrate five-years of being Breast Cancer free and in September 2019, she will celebrate two-years of being free from Leukemia.