In the fall of 2012, Caroline Brown and her husband moved to Houston. If you ask her, the timing couldn't have worked out better.
"Ten days after our move, I discovered a lump on my left breast while I was in the shower," Caroline says. "I knew it wasn't supposed to be there. A mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy procedure revealed stage II ductal carcinoma, a type of breast cancer. Luckily, our move put the No. 1 cancer center in our backyard. It was the most obvious place to seek cancer treatment."
She made an appointment at MD Anderson and underwent chemotherapy, surgery and hormone therapy. Today, Caroline is a mother of two and a member of the Advance Team, MD Anderson's next-generation board of leaders. In October, she celebrated her five-year anniversary as a cancer survivor.
"Throughout my cancer journey, I was a big believer in celebrating every milestone," says Caroline. "I would always have some type of celebration with family and friends."
At the five-year mark, Caroline knew she had to do more.
"I wanted to make sure we were celebrating in a way that gave back to MD Anderson," she says. "My anniversary wasn't only about commemorating that moment and raising donations. It also was about raising awareness of this disease, especially among my friends and family."
She organized a donation ride at SoulCycle, an indoor cycling studio. More than 50 people showed up in support of Caroline, raising $9,000. She decided to give the money to MD Anderson's Caring Fund to help employees affected by Hurricane Harvey.
"The nurses and doctors at MD Anderson continually put their patients first," she says. "When I was a patient there, I was beyond impressed with the level of care I received. It's humbling to be able to give back to them, when they've given so much more to me."