Breast cancer survivor found inspiration in late mother-in-law’s battle

Diana Kelly, Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Mill Creek Park — for some, it’s a spot of peace and serenity but for Diana Kelly, it’s where her journey with breast cancer first came to light.

It started with a simple phone call from her longtime friend and colleague Dr. Nancy Gantt following her yearly mammogram.

“Sure enough, she said the biopsy that she did came back cancerous and that I needed to make a formal appointment to come up with a treatment plan,” Diana said.

As a way to come to terms with her diagnosis, Diana continued driving through the park with only her family on her mind.

“Because my mother-in-law had passed the year prior from metastatic disease from her original breast cancer. I thought, ‘Now I’m going to stir them all up again.’ But I truly was thinking about them more than myself,” she said.

At the time of her diagnosis, Diana was working at the Spine Center at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown. Following a lumpectomy, Diana got radiation treatments on her lunch break, admitting that most of her co-workers didn’t even know about her battle.

“Not that I didn’t want to talk about it but it was just something that, you know, I wasn’t obsessed with it. I wasn’t consumed by it,” she said.

Now almost ten years out from her original diagnosis, Diana still works nonstop at the hospital and credits her family and unwavering faith for getting her through.

“If anything, stay strong and don’t look back,” she said. “I think that does help a lot of cancer survivors, not just for breast cancer but all the other cancers as well.”

Diana also said her mother-in-law’s battle with breast cancer made her stronger in her own fight.

“She never looked back, she always looked forward and to me, that was such a beautiful representation of what I needed to do as well.”

And to this day, she does just that.

More stories of survival and hope

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, WYTV spent the last few weeks traveling around the Valley, talking to the brave people who have been touched by this disease in any way.

Watch 33 WYTV News at 6 each night this week to hear their stories.