Local artist shares story of breast cancer to save lives

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Karen Klay fought aggressive breast cancer last year but realized her real fight has just begun.

"The bone pain was all over my body, the fatigue, I couldn't do any artwork," Klay said.

But what this local artist could do was raise awareness about self-detection.


She went on a social media crusade to tell her story of how she had no family history and had normal mammograms but detected the lump one day in the shower. Her words inspired others to do the same.

"I've had three girls say that they've found lumps -- two were cancerous, one was pre-cancerous. There's another girl going in; they're suspicious of her lump," she said.


Klay's mission continues. And now that she's on the road to recovery, she and her husband, Mark, will be showcasing their art at this weekend's 45th annual Scottsdale Arts Festival for the first time in a year.

But the mounting medical bills and lack of art shows have really taken a toll on the Klays.

"I just don't have the income," she said. "We're literally living on credit cards right now, just living on plastic and trying to survive."


They're hopeful for a successful weekend and testament through their work that there is life after cancer. For Karen Klay, it's the art of survival.

"If you take it to where, well, you've got it, you've got it. So if you take it to a level where you help other people survive, that's what it's all about," she said.


For Karen Klay to survive through her art, there is a crowdfunding page on GiveForward.com: "Karen's Cancer Journey: Help Her Save Lives."

More than a million people contributed over $100 million on GiveForward, with 99 cents of every dollar going to people in need. Donations may also be made through PayPal with email karenscancerfund@yahoo.com or mobile No. 520-260-1681.

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