Family Donates Tissue in Honor of Mom

Local News

One family’s tragedy could lead to another’s salvation at Saturday’s Susan G. Komen’s tissue drive.

Saturday would have been Jan Camp’s 58th birthday but three years ago she lost her battle with breast cancer. Seven family members donated tissue Saturday in her honor.

It would have been a day to celebrate another year of life.

“She was just a really generous kind of free spirited person,” Jan’s niece Lauren Smith said. 

“She just kind of had a aura about her just a loving person,” Jan’s daughter Courtney Vance said. 

But for Jan Camp, God had a different plan.

“She donated her body for research and when I saw this I just knew that was something we wanted to do,” Smith said. 

She lost her battle with breast cancer three years ago at only 55. As they ponder the best of times, the family, all dressed in the same shirt, knew they had to be at Oncology Hematology Associates in Evansville on Saturday.

“My favorite memories are the simplest things,” Smith says. “Like riding around in a car with the music turned up real loud.”

“As soon as I did the website and I did a little looking into it for myself and saw that it was on her actual birthday just instant tears and rushing emotion just like how could I possibly say no?” Vance said. 

All seven family members are donating healthy tissue to the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank donation drive.

“That’s an important part of the breast cancer research because they don’t have a complete understanding of what breast tissue looks like in a healthy women,” Smith said. 

It’s similar to a biopsy. The patient is put under with a local anesthetic and lab technicians take six samples of tissue.

“There’s always that thought in the back of your mind what if it is me?” Vance said. 

It’s all for Jan and the thousands of others who continue to fight, helping find a cure for breast cancer.

“It helps you feel not so helpless in the situation that there’s actually something you can do that will really have an impact,” Smith said. 

It’s in honor or Jan, who was a mother, daughter, friend will never be forgotten.

“She’s always around and always with us with the little details of life,” Vance said. 

The Executive Director for the Tri-State Susan G. Komen organization Sheila Seiler says this event only takes place every five years in Evansville because they want various tissue samples from different people in different parts of the country. 

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