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Oncology Nurse Beats Three Cancers, Now Uses Voice to Raise Awareness and Funds

Nancy Jo Bush’s first cancer diagnosis came in 1982. It was melanoma, but treatable. Then in 2007, Bush learned she had ovarian cancer. While enduring the initial phases of this diagnosis, she learned of another shocking diagnosis: breast cancer.

“As an oncology nurse, I was too informed to be in denial,” said Bush, 61. “So my initial reaction was to try to be as brave as all of my patients have been.”

Through five surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments led by Drs. Beth Karlan and Armando Giuliano, Bush remained brave and courageous.

But when her treatment ended and she was faced with reentering the work force and picking up her life where it had left off, depression crept in.

“My life had changed so drastically, I began asking questions like ‘why me’,” said Bush.

She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 10 months after her dual diagnoses. But with the support and guidance of friends and family, Bush got to a place where she felt like her old self.

“I came through this journey as a stronger person,” said Bush. “This experience also has given me better insight into the journey my patients face.”

On Nov. 15, Bush will participate in her eighth Run for Her event, which supports ovarian cancer research and awareness for the Women’s Cancer Program at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. This year’s event will take place virtually in an effort to raise more global awareness and funds for the cause.

“Run for Her is the most spiritual event,” said Bush. “It’s a time to recognize those who have lost their battle but also see the strength of supporters and survivors.”

Looking back through past event photos, Bush notes how much stronger she looks year after year.

“In each photo, my hair gets longer and longer – you can see my physical and emotional growth. It’s really powerful.”

Join Bush and thousands of others at the 2015 virtual event. Register today.

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