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Nebraska Medicine Nurse and breast cancer survivor spreads the word about screenings

Posted at 4:43 PM, Oct 13, 2023

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — Brake for Breakfast is an annual event where volunteers offer breakfast along with important information on how to get screened for breast cancer. The event means a lot for one volunteer in particular.

Nicole Keil is a Nebraska Medicine nurse and mom, her breast cancer battle started almost exactly nine years ago.

"I was 41," she said. "I found my tumor and went in for my very first mammogram that day and it was breast cancer."

The date was Oct. 10, 2014. Keil suddenly found herself in the shoes of the patients she normally helps, she remembered a conversation with her oncologist.

"I knew what was happening, but I wanted him to explain it to me in medical terms," she said. "To me, it was more impactful."

Keil described her battle as a long journey, it involved many rounds of chemo and surgery. Today, Keil has beaten breast cancer, but it still impacts her life. Through her job, she's able to help other breast cancer patients, it's the conversations that help the most.

"I try to talk to people one-on-one just about what it's going to be like and hopefully help them through," she said. "It's super scary to hear you have cancer."

Keil doesn't stop with her patients, for the past seven years she's been one of dozens of volunteers who take part in Brake for Breakfast spreading awareness about the importance of mammograms and screenings.

"I love it, cause I get a lot of breast cancer survivors that come down the line," she said. "It gives cancer awareness to the public and reminders to get mammograms and get your screenings."

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