TOLEDO, Ohio — The Susan G. Komen Toledo Race for the Cure celebrates Artina McCabe this year.
Artina is exactly who you would want by your side if you were fighting breast cancer.
But, she wasn't always so positive about her own diagnosis. In fact, her diagnosis in 2017 brought her to a very dark place.
"I had breast cancer. I was a basket case," she says. "I had gave all my clothes away and everything because I just knew I was going to die."
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She can laugh about her rash decision now, but at the time, Tina was depressed.
"I was sitting there trying to figure out, 'Why me?' I'm a good person. I'm a nice person.'"
During her battle, Tina kept a journal. She gets emotional as she reads some of her passages from September of 2017.
"I don't know what I would do if I had the big 'C,' the 'Killer C."
She turns the page and reads from an entry later that month.
"They found cancer in my left breast," she reads. "I understand that this is a wake-up call. Time to go back to Jesus. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry for anything that I had done that wasn't pleasing in your sight."
"How do I share this embarrassment with people? Help me, God, please."
"If someone should read this, I want them to know I was a good person loved by my family friends and kids from church, my family from coast to coast. Trust Tisha will hold the family together. This is 'scared Tina,' not trusting God and letting the spirit of fear overtake me. Stop it, Devil. I will live and not die."
It was during her third round of chemo, Tina says, when her attitude came around and she began to fight.
"Especially through my family, and especially through my church family, my pastor kept saying this is not until death. This is not until death. I was in a fighting mood by then and I knew everything was gonna be all right," she said.
Tina began working to encourage other survivors.
"I may not have gone though so much depression and worry and everything if I had known right from the beginning or had a buddy right at the beginning that would grab my hand and put their arm around me and say, 'It's OK.'"
That's why Tina's daughter says this race needs to be in celebration of her mom.
"People actually come to her and will ask, 'What do I do?" said Artisha Lawson. "She demonstrates a lot of strength in a humble way where she connects with a lot of people."
"She's always had that personality where she's bright, sunshine, can light up a room. She's a fighter, and very enthusiastic, very enthusiastic."
Artina gets emotional when she hears Artisha describe her.
"I'm surprised she sees me as the strength because I see her as the strength," Artina says.
"It's a full journey because to go from her first race where it was more of a terror issue, to now you're more of a front person for this third race. I think it takes everything full circle," said Artisha.
"I'm a little camera shy as you can tell," Artina says, laughing. "No, I actually do love it, it's such an honor, it's such an honor. I'm already a hugger and a picture taker and everything. So, it's just so exciting for people to see that it's a rainbow at the end of your battle."
And, there she'll be at the finish line, a rainbow of hope for others at the 2019 Susan G. Komen Toledo Race for the cure, named in celebration of Artina McCabe.
Artina says she will walk in races in other towns and cities and bring her positive outlook to others who are battling breast cancer.