Survivor Story: Suzy Faulkner keeps fighting even as her cancer returns
There's something about meeting a survivor. Their strength and their perseverance are inspiring.
Suzy Faulkner is a woman who knows perseverance. She's wrangled it up time after time to fight for her life.
When she found out she had cancer for the second time, she bought a 1998 Beemer convertible.
"I love it," Suzy said. "I bought it so we could took around in it all summer. It's just fun."
And fun might as well be Suzy's middle name. She measures her life in memories captured in one image after another kept in photo albums - many including her granddaughter.
"She calls me Granzy because she says it's a mix between grandmother and crazy. We just have fun."
But as much as Suzy loves to have fun, her life is one many would consider anything but.
She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She underwent a lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. She said she was able to get through that experience thanks to her husband, Virgil.
"He never gave me sympathy; He gave me kindness," Suzy said. "He never gave me sympathy, and that's what I needed."
Virgil died seven years ago from lung disease. Her biggest supporter gone when she needs him most - after 16 years in remission, that cancer is back and worse than ever.
"The breast cancer was growing around my colon and squeezing it and then they saw growth over my organs on the inside. It's not curable, it's only treatable. So, as long as the medicine works, I'm good to go."
And Suzy is going and going. The next big event in her life: her daughter's wedding in June.
"Found shoes, went everywhere and wound up getting $16.99 shoes at K-Mart. Oh, and I will be [at the wedding]! I will be there. She can't get rid of me. She can't uninvite me."
After the wedding, there are trips to take and a lot more living to do.
"Cancer sucks," Suzy said. "It's a terrible thing, but you just have to make the most out of it."
This weekend, she will join thousands of others who will Race for a Cure for breast cancer.
It's not too late to join. The signup process is simple. Just click here to start.
The Survivor Pink Parade honoring people like Suzy is at 7:30 Saturday morning. The walk-run begins at 9:00 at Military Park.
Eyewitness News will be there Saturday morning. Just look for the WTHR team and the Channel 13 booth.