Ohio’s Pink Runway

Celebrating breast cancer survivors and empowering women in their breast reconstruction journey

Amy

Amy has been married to her husband Steve for 22 years. They have one cat, Bonita, and Amy has taught Spanish in the Akron schools for the past 21 years!

Amy was actually blessed to make her own preventative decision.  Amy’s sister is Christina Wasson, who is also participating in Pink Runway. After Christina was diagnosed in 2018, Amy underwent genetic testing and tested positive for one of the same gene mutations Christina has. She is now relieved that she has the same percentage of lifetime risk of breast cancer (5% – 10%) as the general population.

Amy had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in June 2020 during the pandemic, and chose a DIEP Flap reconstruction with Drs. Diulus and Cody, which was done at the same time as her mastectomy. She chose the DIEP Flap because it would use her own tissue and had no foreign bodies.

Amy tells women to “research all their options. We are blessed with amazing surgeons right here in Akron. They are knowledgeable and explain the options and process very well! For those considering a prophylactic mastectomy like I had, do it! It really puts your mind at ease.”  She is grateful to both Dr. Diulus and Dr. Cody for their expertise and care, both mental and physical. “They are both top notch!”

Amy chose to walk The Pink Runway to support her sister, Chris Wasson, but also to let others know they don’t have to wait for a diagnosis if they have a high risk. “We can make decisions on our own timeline. I want to thank all the amazing women, especially my mom and my sister, who did not have this opportunity.  You are strong!”

Angela Whorton

Angela (Angel) has been married to her husband John for 19 years, and together they share two beautifully fascinating children, John Ramon and Kara. Angel is a teacher at the I Promise School, where she is an intervention specialist advocating for those who need it most. As a special education teacher, she not only provides state-of-the-art education but support to students who would be suspended or expelled. She teaches them self-regulation skills while identifying their trauma so they can be successful, at school and beyond. Angel is also the Co-Director of The Growing Patch Childcare Center, alongside her amazing mother, Karla Burnham. Angel’s focus is Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) to train each child to find their passion and value others along the way. She enjoys traveling, working out, laughing, and new experiences. She is also on the board of Stewart’s Caring Place and wants to continue advocating for women’s health. Hanging out with her children “is my jam, and watching them develop into amazing human beings fills my soul with joy.” Angel was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019 after feeling a lump during a self examination. Angel underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery with Dr. Derek Cody. She loves her new breasts. “They are better than anticipated, and make me feel feminine and sexy.” She chose to participate in Pink Runway to “stand up for those women who cannot, and to let women know that they do not walk this journey alone, and your strength is your beauty.” Angel feels that her breast reconstruction experience with Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons and Dr. Cody was a God-send, as she switched surgeons after feeling bullied by her previous doctor to have a procedure that made her uncomfortable. Dr. Cody was “actually a partner in my breast reconstructive experience, giving me the information and courage I needed to make the decision that was best for ME! “He’s simply brilliant, and I am grateful for his expertise, talent, care, and professionalism. Thank you, Dr. Cody!”

Bobbijo Werren

Bobbijo and her husband, John, have been married for 14 years. They have a kind of “Brady Bunch” family – between them they have four incredible grown children, and one precious granddaughter, Ellie, who may have saved her life. Bobbijo is Vice President of Quality for an international third party administrator. She loves adventures of any kind, travel, the ocean, and outdoor activities. Since her August 2020 surgery, she finished multiple trail races including a 15K and the Mohican Marathon in June of 2021. In July of 2022, she participated in the Dragon Boat Festival and hopes to join Ohio’s Dragon Dream Team in 2023. Bobbijo’s cancer was diagnosed in the summer of 2020, after she noticed a lump. “My granddaughter is a snuggler and cuddler, but she is also a kicker when she sleeps. One night, mid-snuggle, she kicked me in the chest. The next day I noticed pain and a lump. Within days I had the mammogram, MRI, and my diagnosis. All in all, from the kick to the first surgery, it was a six week process. In conjunction with my breast surgeon, Dr. Dalton, and my breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Lewis Diulus, I give Ellie credit for saving my life. Her kick allowed me to catch it early.” Bobbijo underwent a double mastectomy due to a family history of breast and other cancers, and worked with Dr. Diulus to help her through the breast reconstruction process. “Once I was able to get beyond the fear and uncertainty of the diagnosis itself, I found the prospect of getting a new look exciting. All in all, it pushed me to be more accepting of my body.” Bobbijo advises other women facing a cancer diagnosis to trust the professionals, maintain a positive mental attitude, and stay as active as possible throughout the process. She speaks highly of Dr. Diulus and Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons, “He and his staff could not have been more supportive, answering every single question with patience and kindness. I am grateful and feel very fortunate to have Dr. Diulus and Crystal Clinic in my corner.”

Christina

Christina is a proud mother to her awesome 27 year old son.  She has worked for a health and wellness distributor in Hudson for 22 years.  She is blessed with an amazing family and friend group that helped her through this journey, especially her sister that didn’t leave her side.

Christina had been having mammograms every six months due to dense breast tissue, and In May 2018 she found a lump in her left breast. She underwent chemo, a bilateral mastectomy and then reconstruction surgery with Dr. Lewis Diulus. After her reconstruction, she says she “feels like herself again!”

Christina urges women to do their research and find out what their options are, and to stay positive! She chose to walk The Pink Runway to support the amazing doctors and staff at Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons and to let others know what Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons can do. Christina has been on the Dragon Dream Team for the past two years, Ohio’s first all-breast cancer survivor dragon boat team.  She has met many amazing women on this team, and is excited to compete with them in the World Championship in September, 2024 in Ravenna, Italy!

Christine

Christine has been married 29 years to Jay. They have one adult child, Allison. The family shares three rescue animals – schnauzers – Reagan and Nixon, and a tuxedo cat – Sasha.  She has enjoyed her career in higher education for more than 25 years, currently serving as the director of development for Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.  She loves dancing, reading (anything James Patterson), and watching Division 1 college football and American Movie Classics.

Christine’s breast cancer was diagnosed in February 2019 after discovering a lump during a hive breakout on her trunk and breast areas. Following a biopsy, she learned she had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of breast, stage 0, estrogen negative, and grade 3.

She had a unilateral mastectomy and reconstruction on April 18, with a second surgery on April 22 due to her margins being too close.  She underwent 13 rounds of radiation beginning in late June. In October of that year, Dr. Derek Cody matched her left breast to her right breast through breast reduction surgery.

She is eternally grateful for her cancer-free status and reconstruction surgery, which motivated her to become more fit and to lose the excess, unnecessary weight she was carrying. This lifestyle change enabled her to reduce her A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thus, reducing her need for some medications she had been prescribed. She continues to maintain her improved health through diet and exercise.

Christine is thankful to Dr. Cody and the rest of the team that helped save her life while encouraging her to live an intentionally healthier life.

Christine

Christine is married to Mike, and together they are parents to three children: Clare (22); Ryan (10), and Daniel (17).  Christine works for CCP Industries as a Business Development Representative, and in her spare time enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Christine underwent a full mastectomy in 2021 after being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in-situ.  While she hoped to have one surgery and be done with it, it actually took five surgeries before she could finally have implants. “God had other plans for me!” she says. Dr. Lewis Diulus did a wonderful job with her implants and she had a great experience with him and the Crystal Plastics staff.

Christine walks the Pink Runway today to show others there are options and treatments for everyone. She now feels like herself again, and advises other women facing a breast cancer diagnosis to stay positive through all the ups and downs. Have a good support system and family. “Listen to people who have gone through breast cancer – especially your sisters. And pray a lot!”

Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood

Sonja has been married for 29 years, and is the mother of three: sons Tyrone, 45 and Daemyen, 20; and daughter Daelynn, 17. She is a physician educator, and in her spare time enjoys baking, working out, attending jazz concerts and going to art museums and sporting events. Sonja’s cancer was diagnosed by her family physician during a breast exam. Interestingly, her lesion did not appear on a mammogram. Her cancer was Stage IIA and she underwent a bilateral mastectomy at University Hospitals Cleveland with silicone implants. In 2020 she underwent a DIEP Flap surgery at Crystal Clinic with Dr. Derek Cody and was very pleased with the outcome! Sonja advises others to be comfortable with your surgeon. Review pictures of their work. If possible, talk to their patients. “I did a lot of research on both of my surgeons. It helped me to have confidence in their work, and I am thrilled with the outcome of my abdominal flap,” she shared. “I feel wonderful post-breast reconstruction. I chose to participate in Pink Runway to celebrate survivorship!”

Ellen

Ellen has been married to her husband Matthew Morris for one year. She has four children and two grandchildren, with one more on the way! She works in Massillon, and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, animals, and loves to read.

Genetic testing revealed that Ellen carried the BRCA gene, and she chose to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy. She hoped to enjoy bigger breasts and a better lifestyle after the procedure, with peace of mind to enjoy life!

Dr. Shayda Mirhaidari performed Ellen’s procedure, and she is grateful to Dr. Mirhaidari, Deidra, and the staff at Crystal Plastics who were always there when she needed them, helping her through everything. “It’s an honor to walk down the Pink Runway and let everyone know that each of us can make a difference!”

Erin

Erin is the mother to Killian and Elaina, and has been married for the past nine years to her husband Dr. Stephen Scott. Erin works as a claims examiner at Ohio Transit Risk Pool, and her free time is spent with her four cats and two dogs!

Erin was diagnosed in February 2022 with Stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ in her right breast following a routine mammogram. She chose to undergo a double mastectomy with DIEP Flap reconstruction with Dr. Yoho.  She now feels amazing!  “I have a newly found confidence that I am a warrior, and I can do anything!”

Erin would like women to know that they should talk to their doctors and ask questions. “My choice was the best for me,” she says. “My other breast tissue came back pre-cancerous, and I feel even more confident that I made the right choice.”

Erin feels incredibly lucky to walk The Pink Runway, as this event is all about empowering women and recognizing that each woman’s story is different.  She is grateful to Dr. Yoho and the team at Crystal Plastics, who were caring, informative and listened to her. She felt valued and understood. “I would highly recommend Dr. Yoho!”

Jennifer

Jenny and her husband Joe have been married for 17 years, and together they have raised two wonderful boys – Dylan and Lucas. The three of them took wonderful care of me during my treatments!  Jenny works for the City of Medina in the Finance department, and is very fortunate to work with so many incredibly supportive people.  In her spare time Jenny enjoys reading, walking spending time with her family, and going camping.

On July 1, 2020 Jenny had her routine mammogram. She was called back in on Thursday, July 23, and because she was leaving on vacation Dr. Victoria VanFossen performed her biopsies that Friday. Her results showed that she had two masses in the left breast and pleomorphic invasive lobular carcinoma Grade 2 on the right. After Dr. VanFossen walked her through her options, Jenny underwent chemotherapy first, followed by a double mastectomy and complete hysterectomy, and finally radiation.

Dr. Derek Cody performed her Diep Flap reconstruction surgery.  “The staff at Crystal Plastics were all so wonderful. They helped me to look and feel normal again,” Jenny shared. “I would recommend Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons to anyone who is looking for any type of breast reconstruction. In fact, I already have – my cousin is having a breast reduction in December with Dr. Cody!”

Jenny wanted to be a part of the Pink Runway to “show other women with cancer to always keep your faith and try to look at the positives in your life every day.  It’s a battle, but one worth fighting!”

Jessica Peterson

Jessica is a proud aunt of three beautiful nieces, and has worked for the same company for over 18 years. She truly enjoys being a leader for her team. In her spare time she loves watching movies, riding her bike on the towpath, being with family and friends, and dancing! She is a huge Cleveland sports fan, especially the Browns! She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and again in 2021. Jessica underwent multiple breast reconstruction surgeries, including a double mastectomy, with Dr. Lewis Diulus who has supported her the whole way. Now, her breasts feel like a natural part of her body which was a worry for her. “Dr. Diulus was incredibly supportive and worked to ensure that I was happy with my end result,” she shared. She advises other women facing a diagnosis to remember that they are stronger than they think they are. “Mental strength, positivity, and a good support system are extremely important. It’s just as much a mental battle as it is physical.” Jessica is participating in the Pink Runway to be a strong role model for her nieces and to build awareness of the importance of breast health and of all the options available to women!

Jill

Jill and her husband Dan recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! Together they have three children, four grandchildren, with a fifth grandchild coming in November. Jill has worked as a staff associate for over a decade at Toland-Herzig Funeral Home. And, as a coach’s wife for over 40 years, with 29 of them as a head coach, Jill estimates she has been to at least 425 high school football games!

Jill’s breast reconstruction journey began over 20 years ago when she was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease. She underwent numerous surgeries to remove the cysts, and one cyst came back with atypical cells. With this increased risk of breast cancer, Jill underwent a prophylactic mastectomy with implant reconstruction in 2003. Over the years she received two additional sets of implants due to malformation.  By summer 2022 the implants became malformed again, and Jill decided to seek another opinion, where she met Dr. Douglas Wagner.  When Jill found Dr. Wagner she was going on her eighth surgery.

“Dr. Wagner’s approach, demeanor, and expertise were impeccable. His staff was top notch. The surgery center was awesome and beyond my expectations. Dr. Wagner is amazing. He has been given remarkable gifts I am so grateful and blessed to have him as my surgeon.”

Jill’s reconstruction results were absolutely beautiful.  She feels whole again, after so many years.  She is amazed at how far breast reconstructive surgery has progressed in the last twenty years, and says “Thank you, Dr. Wagner, from the bottom of my heart.”

Jill is deeply touched to walk in the Pink Runway. Coming from a small town, only a handful of people have known about her twenty year journey, but they know now!  “I am ready to help others who have been in my shoes – and say, you got this!”

Jodi Harrison

Jodi is the proud mother of four children, five grandchildren, and two cats! She and her fiancé look forward to getting married in June 2023. Jodi has worked for 18 years as a personal lines underwriter for Allstate Insurance Company, and has been able to work from home since early 2020. She is an avid boater, gardener, and loves traveling! Jodi was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017 and underwent a left breast mastectomy with a DIEP Flap reconstruction with Dr. Derek Cody. She says she felt fantastic about her reconstructive surgery, “The doctors at Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons are incredibly skilled. They understand how traumatic this diagnosis is for a woman and help with making the decisions for the best outcome. Dr. Cody came highly recommended.” Jodi would like everyone to know that the Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons staff “is amazing, and really cares about their patients’ well-being. I’ve entrusted other concerns to them since my reconstructive surgery and still get the same amazing care. They are top-notch!”

Julianne Shetler

Julianne has three wonderful adult children and five amazing grandchildren, Ronan, 1; Sawyer, 2; Hudson, 6; Riley, 9; and Ava, 12. Julianne was diagnosed with Stage 1A breast cancer in September 2018, she chose a double mastectomy with implants. Unfortunately her body rejected one of the implants, so Dr. Diulus and Dr. Cody performed a DIEP Flap procedure, which was a complete success. Before being diagnosed with breast cancer, Julianne enjoyed riding sports bikes for decades and is happy to report that, post-surgeries, she is still able to ride her Kawasaki ZZR motorcycle. She particularly enjoys riding in the annual Akron Bikers for Boobs poker run in August where all the money goes to Stewart’s Caring Place. This year they raised $72,000. Today she feels amazing and confident after her surgeries. She educated herself, listened to her doctors, and reminded herself to just breathe, relax, and take it one day at a time. Julianne chose to participate in Pink Runway to raise awareness about breast reconstruction and to let people know that there are different options to get you back to feeling beautiful and confident. “I can’t say enough wonderful things about Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons and their staff. I’ve had 10 surgeries, and with every surgery or office visit, I was always treated with so much love and care from everyone. Dr. Diulus was always standing right beside me and helping me along every part of this journey.”

Julie

Julie has been married to Mike for 13 years, and she has a stepson named MJ, two dogs, and three cats. She has worked two jobs since 2008 and is proud to note that she worked them both during her entire cancer journey. She also went back to school for medical billing and coding. In her spare time she likes to read books, paint, sew, go for walks, and do anything else that pops in her head!

She noticed a lump in her left armpit – she named the lump Tweedledum − in 2018 at age 38. Her primary doctor brushed it off, and despite highly elevated liver enzymes none of her doctors thought to investigate further.  When she turned 40 Julie had a mammogram, and was then diagnosed with Stage 2A triple positive invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2 – not one tumor but four!  “Again, an overachiever,” she says.

Julie underwent chemo, a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, implants, a total hysterectomy, and removal of her left implant due to a staph infection. Fortunately she fell into the hands of Dr. Yoho in July 2022 in the hopes that he could put her back together with DIEP Flap surgery. “That was the best decision I made,” said Julie. “He is compassionate about his patients and his job, which is very hard to find these days.” Despite complications, Julie always found the humor in her situation. Next month she will undergo her hopefully last surgery for her cancer journey so she can close this chapter and continue to enjoy survivorship.

Julie advises women that “cancer is not a death sentence, it’s a life sentence. Treatments have come a long way. Be your own advocate and push to get tests done so you don’t end up being diagnosed two years after the fact. Mindset is 95% of your battle and the other 5% is your cancer journey. Being diagnosed is the only thing set in stone – your treatment and everything that comes with it is not. Have an open mind.”

Julie thanks Dr. Yoho for putting her back together – she couldn’t be happier with the outcome! She thanks Dr. Mirhaidari for assisting him with her surgery, and keeping him on his toes! She is grateful to the crew at Crystal Plastics for being caring and sweet.  There are so many people she wants to thank, but this isn’t the Oscars, and there are other stunning women here tonight that deserve to be honored for their bravery in this journey. “Finally,” she says, “thank you to my family and friends – my biggest cheerleaders – you know who you are!”

Julie Davis

Julie is 54 years old and has been married to Dan for 23 years. Together they have three children: Derek, Katie and Chelsea. She is currently employed with Springfield Local Schools where she works with preschool children who make everyday a new adventure. She has also been a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years. Julie enjoys working in her yard, reading and vacationing with her family. Julie was diagnosed with breast cancer when she found a lump on Christmas Eve in 2015. In 2016 she underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a complete mastectomy. After consulting with Dr. Derek Cody, she decided the DIEP Flap surgery was for her. She is grateful for the time and patience that Crystal Clinic showed her during the difficult decisions. There was never a rush to have surgery. There was never a push to have surgery. She always felt that the decisions she made were hers. Julie is very happy with the results of her surgery and would recommend anyone who is considering reconstruction to meet with the staff at Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons to help with their decision. She is walking the Pink Runway to show how proud she is to be a breast cancer survivor and to walk with the other amazing women who are here tonight. Julie also wants to share that in June 2022 she was diagnosed with uterine cancer, which is not related to her breast cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and is responding well. This is another battle that she intends to win and look back on as a speed bump on the road of life!

Laurie Chenevey

Married to her husband Craig for 36 years, Laurie has two grown sons and two granddaughters. She works as the Community Event Coordinator for the City of Akron. In her spare time she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and shopping! Laurie was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram, receiving the news on her 33rd anniversary. The good news was that her husband was by her side through her journey. Initially Laurie hadn’t considered breast reconstruction, but after her breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Victoria VanFossen, asked if she had considered a breast reduction due to her large breast size, she chose to go ahead with the surgery to both reduce her breast size and make them even. Dr. Derek Cody performed her reconstruction, and her breasts look great! She didn’t realize how her larger breasts had been causing some back pain, and it is now easier for her to find clothes that fit. Laurie advises women facing a diagnosis to talk to their medical team – ask questions and trust them. Talk with other survivors, family members, and then make the best decision for you. She chose to be in Pink Runway to show others that they can get through treatment. “Though it was a tough road, I did my best to keep a positive attitude and find joy in every day. I feel great now and am very happy with my breast reduction results!”

LaVada Holma

LaVada has been married for 59 years, and is the mother of two sons and three beautiful grandchildren, who are the joy of her life! She worked for many years as a wedding cake designer and cake decorating instructor, and now enjoys working in her yard with her flowers. She still loves to bake! LaVada found a lump in her breast in 2017, which was diagnosed as malignant neoplasm of the lower left breast, and underwent a double mastectomy by Dr. Victoria VanFossen. She hoped that her breast reconstruction would make her look and feel like a woman again. Dr. Derek Cody performed her reconstructive surgery, and she now feels great! At age 79, LaVada feels she wasn’t too old to get reconstructive surgery – it was the best thing she ever did! LaVada is excited to participate in Pink Runway because she wants to show others that if she can do this, you can too! Get up and get moving, life is too short! “Working with Dr. Cody and his staff has been a pleasure and a joy,” she related. “If you have any concerns or doubts please don’t hesitate to ask – they are here to answer any and all of your questions – and most of all to make you feel and look like a woman again!

Lucie

Lucie was born and raised in the Czech Republic, and completed her undergraduate studies in nursing prior to relocating to Ohio at age 19. Once in Ohio, she enrolled at Case Western Reserve University and pursued three consecutive masters degrees in nursing, including nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist – completing all degrees with honors while also learning English as a second language! Lucie has enjoyed a successful 18 year career as a nurse practitioner in cardiothoracic surgery at University Hospitals in Cleveland. In 2008 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but decided not to let this disease define her and participated in an experimental study which successfully suppressed her symptoms. She married her husband, Karl, shortly thereafter and is now the proud mother of two healthy and spirited girls, Johanna (8) and Emilia (7).  In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities and also loves to crawl into a chair or bed and read a good book while sipping tea or a glass of wine.

In the middle of the COVID pandemic in 2020 she was faced with another obstacle – breast cancer which was diagnosed during a routine mammogram screening. She decided to undergo a double mastectomy with implant reconstruction. In 2023 she came to Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons for a breast reconstruction revision with implant exchange and capsulectomy with Dr. Gary Pennington.

Lucie advises women dealing with this or any health issue, to keep a positive mindset and to stay as active as possible throughout the entire process.  Live your life to the fullest and as normally as possible! As many women have heard before, DO NOT let this disease define you!  She walks the Pink Runway because she views breast cancer as just a small bump in her road, and to show that you can get through it. She also wishes to honor those who continue to make great contributions to the fight against breast cancer, including the team at Crystal Plastics who took great care of her during difficult times.

Lynn Matzules

Lynn has been in healthcare for over 20 years in various positions. She is a 4th Angel Breast Cancer Mentor for Cleveland Clinic and tells her story through Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons’ website and social media outreach. Lynn enjoys most things health- and fitness-related, working out, and spending time with family and friends. Lynn’s breast cancer was found in an annual mammogram in September 2017. She was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Stage 1A, Grade 3, and underwent a double mastectomy due to her specific diagnosis on November 14, 2017. At the time of her double mastectomy, her hope for breast reconstruction was to maintain comfort and full function with a natural look and feel. This is why, in consultation with her breast surgeon Dr. Mary Murray, and with her reconstructive surgeon Dr. Derek Cody, she determined the DIEP Flap was the best option for her. Due to a complication with her left flap after her original surgery, she continued with additional surgeries – ultimately ending up with a TUG Flap to recreate her left breast. Lynn’s final outcome is DIEP Flap right breast, TUG Flap left breast. Lynn chose DIEP Flap reconstruction due to comfort, function, natural look, feel and mobility, and is very happy with the results. She advises other women facing a cancer diagnosis or prophylactic mastectomy to research your options with Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons and choose what’s best for you. “Try not to let fear hold you back from making the decision you feel is right for you. This is a very personal decision. Talk to other breast cancer patients. Every woman makes a different choice based on her own personal circumstances. This is not a ‘one-choice fits-all-women’ approach,” she said. Lynn chose to walk the Pink Runway to help educate patients and their families with her story. She wants to help reduce their stress and fear of a breast cancer diagnosis and breast reconstruction. She highly recommends Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons. “I chose to continue with several revision surgeries after my initial double mastectomy and complication with my left flap, due to my confidence in Dr. Cody and his genuine concern and compassion for me as his patient,” Lynn shared. “He discussed all my options with me before, during and after chemo, to meet me where I was at each phase throughout my entire process. He literally put me back together, so I could get back to my life as it was, prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. I can’t say enough kind words about him.”

Mandy

Mandy has been married for 18 years to her husband Nathan, and together they have two teenage sons who are very active in football and basketball and keep them busy!  She is a senior graphic designer for Aultman Hospital, and loves cheering her boys on, traveling, exercising, yoga, reading, and outdoor activities – especially kayaking.

Mandy discovered her cancer through her routine yearly mammogram. She was fortunate that it was caught so early, as it was a Stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ on both sides. She underwent a double mastectomy, with seven lymph nodes removed.  She hoped her reconstruction would help her to look as normal as possible – “just like me” – and once she learned the DIEP Flap was an option, she chose that surgery with “the dream team of Dr. Shayda Mirhaidari and Dr. Daniel Yoho.”

She urges women facing a breast cancer diagnosis to research their options, as only you know your body. Stay positive, trust in the process and in your own strength. She believes she had such a favorable recovery due to strength training prior, a strong faith during, and a rally of supporters throughout!

Mandy chose to walk The Pink Runway to slam the door shut on cancer, and to celebrate with other survivors, her family, and friends.  She is grateful for the exceptional care she received. “Dr. Mirhaidari is gifted in her skills, compassionate, thoughtful, and committed. I was never treated as just a patient. She made me feel so important, heard, and valued. I was also fortunate enough to be under the care of Dr. Yoho, who is also a thorough, caring, and skilled surgeon. I am very honored to be here tonight!”

Monet Tilley

Monet, mother of six and married to her high school sweetheart, works as an insurance adjuster and enjoys baking, dancing, spending time with her children and grandchildren, traveling and going to comedy shows. She discovered a lump in her breast in 2019 at age 38, which was confirmed to be cancer. Monet underwent a single mastectomy followed by implant breast reconstruction surgery with Dr. Wagner. “I had a great experience with Dr. Wagner,” she related. “I am so pleased with my results, and I love the way my new breasts look in my bras and shirts!” Monet advises other women to stay positive, listen to all their options, and make decisions based on what is best for you. “Don’t be afraid of the obstacles you may face because you are strong enough to not only face them but conquer them!”

Monica

Monica is married to David, and together they have four children, one granddaughter, and two dogs. They look forward to 2024 as their family grows with a summer wedding and another grandchild coming. She has worked for Summit County for 27 years in Employee Benefits as a benefits administrator.  In her spare time she loves to read, garden, walk/hike, and paddle a dragon boat!  She never says no to a good cup of coffee or a nice glass of red wine.

Monica was diagnosed with Stage 0 ductal cancer in situ after finding a lump in her right breasts. She actually had cancer in both breasts and underwent a bilateral mastectomy with implants. In 2019 she found a lump close to her incision which was a recurrence of cancer.

Dr. Cody performed her reconstructive surgery, although Monica says she didn’t make it easy for him! She ruptured an expander after tripping over her dog, and they needed to restart the process, and had to work around the recurrence and radiation. But she says that with each surgery, she never once worried because Dr. Cody would say “we’ll take care of it.” And each time he did.

Monica advises other women facing a breast cancer to just keep breathing. Fear grows, but you need to breathe your way through each step of the journey.  Do what YOU want to do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, trust the process, and call Dr. Cody at Crystal Plastics – he will take good care of you!

Monica chooses to walk the Pink Runway to celebrate survivorship and breast cancer advocacy. She believes it is important to always focus on the positive outcomes, especially after a cancer diagnosis. Walking the runway is just one way to show that women can walk away from the reconstructive surgery of their choice feeling confident, comfortable, and attractive!

Rebecca Dimeff

Becca has been married to her husband, Chris, for 26 years. Together they share five beautiful children. Becca has been a teacher for 24 years, teaching 4th grade in Coventry Local Schools. She enjoys walking in the Summit County Metro Parks, reading, journaling, watching her children play sports, and vacationing at the beaches in Florida. Her latest venture is helping women going through breast cancer by blessing them with Pink Comfort Care bags! She loves to encourage and uplift other Pink Warriors that are battling breast cancer! Becca’s breast cancer was diagnosed in August 2020 during a routine mammogram in the middle of the pandemic. She underwent a double mastectomy with implant reconstruction with Dr. Shayda Mirhaidari. She is extremely happy with her reconstruction, and would encourage women to stay positive and find their inner strength to help them on their journey. For Becca, walking in the Metro Parks five times a week and her faith helped her find the peace and strength to fight and overcome cancer. Her experience with Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons was amazing and exceeded her expectations – “Dr. Mirhaidari and the entire team were wonderful!”

Ruth Weeks

Ruth is married to Grady, and the proud mother of seven children. She works as a State Tested Nurses Aid, and in her spare time enjoys fishing, cooking out, traveling, roller skating, collecting earrings, watching movies, attending concerts and being with her family. Ruth’s cancer was found through a diagnostic mammogram. She chose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery with Dr. Shayda Mirhaidari, and was thrilled with her smaller breasts after her surgery. “My experience with Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons was awesome, I can’t say enough good things about them!” she shared. Ruth advises women facing a cancer diagnosis to “have Jesus as the main focus in your life, along with your loved ones, and you will be fine.” She is happy to have gone through her journey with her faith in God and the support of her family. She chose to participate in Pink Runway to bring awareness to breast cancer reconstruction and to celebrate life. “It’s not over until God says it’s over!”

Shelby

Shelby has been married for 19 years to her husband Erik, and is the proud mother of Kai, Tatum, Gracie, Phoebe, Justice, and Savannah. She is a clinical research associate, working in clinical trials. In her spare time she enjoys watching her girls grow, spending time with her family and friends, and living life!

Shelby’s breast cancer journey is a long and complicated one. She was originally diagnosed with breast cancer on April Fool’s Day in 2013. During her implant reconstruction surgery from a double mastectomy they discovered the cancer had spread to the majority of her lymph nodes. Shelby then underwent additional surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. When she began experiencing issues with her left breast implant in September, 2022 Dr. Daniel Yoho drained the fluid there and tested it. Biopsy results indicated it was a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma related to her original implants. Dr. Yoho performed surgery immediately, and then did another complete double mastectomy. Thankfully no more cancerous cells were detected. Over the years she has had seven surgeries, with the last two being performed by Crystal Clinic’s Dr. Yoho.  “I am so grateful to Dr. Yoho. His expertise, his attention to detail, and meticulousness are unparalleled. He is truly amazing!” 

Although she has had a long breast cancer journey, she wants women to know it is important to give themselves time for their body to heal, and to be patient and trust in their decisions. A positive attitude and outlook is everything!  Though her diagnosis caused a lot of stress and anxiety, the Pink Runway is something positive and fun. She looks great, and is proud to be a positive role model for her daughters!

Stephanie

Stephanie has been married to her husband Chuck for 11 years.  They have four children – Brock, Spencer, Pacen, and Prue.  Family is everything to Stephanie!  She loves her big family gatherings, pool parties, camping, and family dinners. She says that her husband Chuck “is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I thank God every day for putting him in my life.”  Stephanie works as a labor and delivery nurse at Aultman, and absolutely loves her job.

Stephanie’s breast cancer was discovered in 2021 after a routine mammogram.  Being an overachiever, she had cancer in both breasts! When it was recommended that she have a double mastectomy she chose to have direct implants with Dr. Lewis Diulus performing her reconstruction.

As a nurse, Stephanie says that she was not always the easiest person to care for. She used research as a coping mechanism, and needed very detailed descriptions of what was going to happen – down to the tools being used, the techniques, and the rationale for each step. Dr. Diulus was always gracious and kind and never made her feel rushed.  “He answered every question, discussed every option, and always ended by telling me what he would recommend but also that each decision was mine to make,” she said.

Stephanie shares her breast cancer journey was a process – she has learned so much. Despite the times she felt broken and deformed, somehow Dr. Diulus put her back together again, and she is forever grateful for his surgical skills! She urges women to find their inner strength, trust in their providers, and lean on your family and friends.

Stephanie chose to walk the Pink Runway because she wanted to show women going through breast cancer that there is hope and options, and despite setbacks they can come out on the other side healthy, happy, and whole!

Talie

Residing in North Canton, Ohio, Talie is joined on life’s journey by her unwavering “support squad” – her husband Scott and her incredible 12 year-old daughter Tegan. Their patience, love, and positivity helped heal Talie’s soul. Over the last 18 years, I’ve worked in the banking industry as a banking advisor with PNC’s Private Bank and a fantastic team. In her spare time, Talie enjoys an active lifestyle. A workout, a game of pickle ball, or embarking on new adventures like joining Ohio’s Dragon Dream in 2023 all contribute to her ongoing healing.

In 2021 Talie had a nightmare that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She woke up and told her husband that she needed to schedule a mammogram. She had just turned 40 in August of 2020 and had been putting off a mammogram. In July 2021 she was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Stage 1. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy in August 2021, chemotherapy, and then chose a DIEP Flap reconstruction with Dr. Derek Cody and Dr. Lewis Diulus that took place in March 2022.

Talie advises women facing a breast cancer diagnosis to “find your tribe” – do your research, and find surgeons you feel comfortable with who explain things in a way you understand. She calls her doctors “Team Talie” because she knows they are always on her side!

Talie chose to walk the Pink Runway to inspire and empower her daughter to face challenges with strength and courage. She feels privileged to walk with other strong, resilient, and determined survivors. “I hope we can show those facing a breast cancer diagnosis that there is a beautiful life on the other side!”

Valerie

Valerie has been married to her husband Dennis for 29 years, and together they have two adult children – Leah and Ian.  She has worked for Brunswick City Schools for 12 years, mostly as a special education paraprofessional. In her spare time Valerie enjoys fitness boxing, kayaking, going to live music, planting flowers and adopting rescue dogs!

In May 2014 Valerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer after a routine mammogram. She initially underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatments. Three years later she underwent a breast reduction and a spot didn’t heal well due to radiation damage. She was referred to Dr. Cody, who performed a TDAP procedure followed by a revision a couple years later. 

“I am so much happier with my results, and am now pain free,” shared Valerie. “My advice to other women is to be an advocate for yourself, ask lots of questions, and try to stay as positive as possible.”  Valerie chose to walk the Pink Runway to bring awareness to women facing breast cancer, and because she is proud of Dr. Cody’s work, and how she looks and feels!