Posing with Deb Jenkins, from left, are her daughter, her friends who were her main support during treatment and her husband Mike.

Cancer survivor shares story to bring awareness

July 20, 2018

“It could happen to you.”

Cancer survivor Deb J. Jenkins learned this lesson firsthand when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and received treatment at Roger Maris Cancer Center.

“A person doesn’t think it’s ever going to happen to them — no matter what it’s about — and then it does,” she said. “You should donate. You should participate. You should get involved. It could be you.”

Watch Jenkins tell her story and share why your support is needed.

Meet cancer survivor Deb J. Jenkins

Hear Deb J. Jenkins describe how the team at Roger Maris Cancer Center went above and beyond during her cancer journey and what their effort means to her.

Posted by Sanford Health Foundation on Friday, July 20, 2018


About 25 years ago, Jenkins received life-changing news; she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

“As I was diagnosed, I wasn’t really hearing any more after that,” Jenkins recalls. “I just heard the word ‘cancer’ — that I had breast cancer.”

After her diagnosis, she began treatment, an experience she remembers vividly.

“It all comes back when you walk in the door of Roger Maris. No matter what,” Jenkins said. “The smell, the taste. For me, I remember the metallic taste in my mouth.”

Yet Jenkins cherishes her caretakers who supported her, including her Sanford oncologist Dr. Preston Steen.

“He was very, very personable,” she said. “Knowing when he’s talking to you that he’s listening — that makes a big difference.”

Today, after a long-fought battle, Jenkins is still cancer-free.

“If I could describe Roger Maris in one word, I would say ‘grateful,’” she said. “Walking through the door, you know you’re going to be listened to and heard, and someone’s going to actually try to answer those questions.”

She reflects often on the care she received at Roger Maris Cancer Center and believes the community benefits greatly from the state-of-the-art equipment, advanced treatments, patient programs, support groups and more.

“You know, it’s not just a clinic. It’s a big deal,” she said. “We’re very fortunate.”